Kaduna (Nigeria) 5th June, 2020: Cameroonian authorities should break the silence and disclose the whereabouts, or provide proof of life for detained journalist Samuel Wazizi.
Since his arrest 10months ago, family, friends and colleagues have sought answer about his whereabouts and health condition but all to no avail.
Report says Wazizi’s family have tried several times to visit and see him but all effort equally proved abortive.
Further reports allege that Wazizi died at a military hospital at an unspecified date after being tortured by security forces.
Wazizi was arrested in August 2nd last year, and accused of terrorism, however, he was not charged to court nor granted opportunity to defend himself.
As news of his alleged death filled the air, journalists in Cameroon in their numbers paid a visit to the Governor of Beau to demand explanation about the alleged death of the journalist.
A tweet by Mimi Mefo Info (MMI) Twitter handle on Thursday 5th June, shows pictures of Cameroonian journalists marching to the office of the governor of Beau to demand the whereabouts of Samuel Wazizi.
“The move comes after government’s silence since the pressman’s death was announced on Equinox television” .
Despite the calls and agitation, Cameroonian government has not offered any formal reports with regard to the case.
Report says press freedom watchdog, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called and texted representatives of Cameroon’s Justice Ministry, Communications Ministry, and prime minister’s office for comment, but did not receive any replies.
Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) spoke with a Cameroonian Press Freedom Ambassador in a chat with regards the outcome of journalists’ visit to the Governor’s office, Eyong Blaise who was part of the delegation said “the governor did not confirm or deny his death. He said the Journalist was sent to the central government in Yaoundé in good health”.
It is unheard of that a person is arrested and for 300days none of his family or friends were allowed to see him. Even when the rumor of his death is all over the internet, authorities have failed to clear the air about the alleged death of the journalist in detention.
AMDF is calling on Cameroonian authorities to issue a formal statement on the whereabouts of Samuel Wazizi and tell the public what happened to the journalist.