The Journalists from the North West and South West regions who are currently taking part in a three-day UN organized capacity building workshop were apprehended on their way to a snack called Themo. They were later taken to the Bafoussam Police Station where they were forced to sit on the floor the whole night.
One of the detainees Ambe McMillian Awa wrote that, “Nine of us journalists from NW & SW are at the Bafoussam police station. We were arrested on our way as we left Themo snack this evening. We are yet to know the reason for the arrest. Many inhabitants arrested with us alongside. Our ID's checked but no official statement yet. We are all on the ground.”
They were later released before 6am but no word has been said on the motive of their arrest and hwy they are being released.
The arrest of these nine journalists, Ambe Macmillian, Friday Leyina Voma,Toga Richard Jato, Mokun Njouny Nelson, Fawah Agather Magadaline, Besong Lucy Esame, Kembong Eileen Sama, Sir Nyambot Divine and Yuh Timchia(four women and five men) has been heavily criticized by the media community and activists.
UN Minority Rights Fellow, Nfor Hanson Nchanji, has urged West regional authorities to investigate the arrests and punish those involved, “Bafoussam is not observing any curfew to the best of my knowledge but for Police to have bundled Human Rights Journalists, is violating of the rights they are fighting for.
And by arresting a group of people speaking English, means there is no safe place for people speaking the Queens language in the West region( Especially if they are standing in groups)
I , UN Minority Rights Fellow, personally condemn this unprofessional act by the Police and call on West regional authorities to investigate the situation and bring to book all those who took part in the unlawful arrest , physical and psychological torture.” He wrote on his Facebook account.The journalists released will be going back to their regions today after the last day of seminar.