[Cameroon] Writer Enoh Meyomesse in danger of losing his sight

English PEN welcomes reports that all charges against the writer and activist Enoh Meyomesse have been dropped, but we are outraged that he remains in jail. We are also extremely worried by reports that Meyomesse is suffering from a serious eye condition, for which he must undergo an urgent operation if he is to avoid losing his sight.

Enoh Meyomesse, 57, is the author of numerous books and is a founding member of the Cameroon Writers Association. He was arrested on 22 November 2011 and charged with 1) attempting to organise a coup 2) possessing a firearm 3) aggravated theft. Meyomesse denied all charges and maintained that he had been arrested because of views expressed in his writings, and for his political activism. He faced a 50-year prison sentence if found guilty.

Since the moment of his arrest, there has been widespread concern about the charges against him, and also about his treatment in prison. There were reports that the prosecution had fabricated evidence, and that Meyomesse – for the first few months of his incarceration – was denied proper legal representation.

Furthermore, his first month in detention was spent in solitary confinement and complete darkness, believed to be the cause of the debilitating eye condition which, if left untreated, is likely to lead to a total loss of vision.

In late January 2012, the coup charges against the writer were the first to be dropped; in the intervening months, the other charges against Meyomesse crumbled. Until recently, the only charge on which he was being held was a minor infringement of mineral trading law. According to reports, this charge has now also been dropped. Despite facing no charges, Meyomesse continues to be held in the over-crowded Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé.

TAKE ACTION

Please send appeals:

  • Calling for the immediate release of Enoh Meyomesse on the grounds that he no longer faces any charges;
  • Demanding that he receive proper and urgent medical treatment for his eye condition as a matter of urgency.

Appeals to:

President Paul Biya
Fax: +237 22 22 08 70
Email: cellcom@prc.cm or contact@presidenceducameroun.com
Messages may also be sent via the Presidency’s website: http://www.prc.cm/index_fr.php?link=messenger/write_pr

Hon. Minister of Justice Laurent Esso
Ministry of Justice
Yaoundé
Cameroon
Fax: +237 22 23 00 05

Mr. Philemon Yang, Prime Minister
Fax: +237 22 23 57 35
Email: spm@spm.gov.cm

Please also write to the diplomatic representative for Cameroon in the UK:

His Excellency Mr. Nkwelle Ekaney
High Commission for the Republic of Cameroon
84 Holland Park,
London
W11 3SB
Fax: 020 7792 0608
Email: info@cameroonhighcommission.co.uk

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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