April 13, 2012

President Paul Biya
Fax: +237 22 22 08 70

Hon. Minister of Justice Amadou Ali
Ministry of Justice
Fax: +237 22 23 00 05
Prime Minister
Mr. Philemon Yang
Fax: +237 22 23 57 35

Your Excellencies,

On behalf of the 3,000 members of PEN American Center, an international organization of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression wherever it is threatened, we are writing to express our relief that the original charges against writer Enoh Meyomesse have been further reduced, but remain concerned that he still faces a military tribunal for new charges.

According to our information, Enoh Meyomesse faces new charges of mineral trade law violations and complicity in the armed robbery of 78 grams of gold, a crime for which he was not present. There are reports that the prosecution fabricated evidence, and that Meyomesse was not allowed proper legal representation. He has been held since November 2011 in the overcrowded Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé, and has lost a substantial amount of weight. We have received worrying reports that the prosecution fabricated evidence, and that Meyomesse has been denied proper access to legal representation.

Enoh Meyomesse (57), a founding member of the Cameroon Writers Association, was arrested on November 22, 2011, and originally faced a 50-year prison sentence on charges of attempting to organize a coup, possession of a firearm, and aggravated theft. Meyomesse denied all charges and maintained that he was being held because of his political activism and views expressed in his writings. These charges were dropped in January.

PEN American Center is seriously concerned that Enoh Meyomesse faces a military tribunal on new charges of mineral trade law violations and complicity in armed robbery, and believe that his ill-treatment and substantial weight loss in detention violates the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the denial of access to his lawyer stands in violation of Articles 9 and 14 of the ICCPR. We therefore call on authorities to conduct a fair and open trial in a civilian court, to grant Meyomesse access to his lawyers, and to investigate all allegations of ill-treatment.

Thank you for your consideration of this crucial matter.

Hannah Pakula
Chair, Freedom to Write Committee

Larry Siems
Director, Freedom to Write and International Programs

CC: H.E. Joseph Charles Bienvenu Foe-Atangana
Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to the U.S.
Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
1700 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
Fax: (202) 387-3826

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