Two journalists get five years for violation of “defence secrets”

first_img CameroonAfrica CameroonAfrica Organisation May 31, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News News Help by sharing this information News Case against Amadou Vamoulké baseless, French lawyers tell Cameroon court Cameroonian reporter jailed since August, abandoned by justice systemcenter_img May 19, 2021 Find out more to go further June 18, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two journalists get five years for violation of “defence secrets” April 23, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders today condemned five-year prison sentences handed down by a military court to Jacques Blaise Mvié and Charles René Nwé, respectively deputy managing director and editor of the privately owned weekly La Nouvelle for publishing “defence secrets”. To date, neither of the two journalists has actually been arrested.“The sentence against Jacques Blaise Mvié and Charles René Nwé is extremely harsh”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “Certainly the two journalists have crossed a line in revealing information that put soldiers in danger, but we believe that depriving them of their freedom is a response that is out of proportion with the fault committed. We urge the Cameroonian authorities to avoid imprisoning them”.The Yaounde military tribunal sentenced the two on 3 June 2009 to five years in prison and fined them each 500,000 CFA francs (about 760 euros), and issued an arrest warrant at the hearing. A soldier, Jérémie Doko, was jailed for four years and fined 400,000 CFA francs (about 610 euros) in the same case.The case relates to a series of articles published in 2006 and 2007 that revealed the positions of the Cameroonian army on the Bakassi peninsula on the border with Nigeria in the west of the country. These reports are believed to have been used by the Nigerian forces who attacked the Cameroon positions and killed 21 soldiers.Blaise Mvié has written to the head of state, Paul Biya, asking for his intervention “in the face of the unfairness” suffered by himself and his colleague “because of the Minister of Defence, Rémy Zé Meka”.The minister however told Reporters Without Borders on 12 June that he had nothing to do with the sentencing and had not brought a complaint against the journalists. The legal proceedings had been started by the public ministry which considered that Zé Meka had been “insulted”.Managing editor of the weekly La Détente Libre, Lewis Medjo, is currently serving a three-year sentence in Douala central prison in the southwest of the country after being found guilty of “spreading false news” on 7 January this year. The organisation repeated its call to the Cameroon authorities for his release. Follow the news on Cameroon Cameroonian journalist Paul Chouta sentenced and fined in defamation case Receive email alertslast_img read more