Cameroonian publisher gets two-year suspended sentence after summary trial

first_imgCameroon is ranked 131st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. A warrant was issued for the arrests of Bobiokono and Mbezele in the event of their failing to pay the damages and fines, but it has not as yet been carried out and they are still free. CameroonAfrica Judicial harassment Le directeur de publication de Kalara Christophe Bobiokono. to go further “This newspaper publisher was tried, convicted and given an extremely harsh sentence in a single night, as if he had just carried out a coup attempt, when in fact he was being prosecuted for alleged defamation more than a year ago,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk.“This summary trial and the extremely harsh sentences were designed solely to silence a respected journalist known for the quality and thoroughness of his investigative reporting, and to kill off his publication. We strongly condemn these methods, which are unworthy of a democracy, and we call for these sentences to be overturned because they have all the hallmarks of being politically motivated.” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the summary manner in which Christophe Bobiokono, the publisher of Kalara, a Cameroonian investigative weekly that specializes in covering court cases, and one of his reporters, Irène Mbezele, were tried in Yaoundé for criminal defamation and were given suspended prison sentences and heavy fines with the sole aim of silencing the newspaper. Case against Amadou Vamoulké baseless, French lawyers tell Cameroon court Receive email alerts Organisation Three weeks ago, Kalara published an open letter by Amadou Vamoulké, a journalist who is being subjected to judicial proceedings that are anything but summary. The former director-general of the state broadcaster CRTV, Vamoulké asked why he has spent the past three and a half years in provisional detention on a charge for which the prosecution has no evidence. The 26th hearing in his case is scheduled for 7 January. Vamoulké is ill and RSF has been calling for months for him to be released so that he can receive appropriate medical treatment, Kalara is often harassed in connection with its coverage of the alleged wrongdoings of well-known Cameroonian figures. Bobiokono told RSF that he is often the target of intimidation attempts, in some cases by government ministers. Cameroonian reporter jailed since August, abandoned by justice system After 15 hours of hearings that went through the night, the surreal trial ended at 6:30 a.m. yesterday when Bobiokono and Mbezele were given two-year suspended jail terms on charges of defamation and “insulting a state institution.” The court also ordered Bobiokono to pay 15,300 euros in damages and a fine of 3,800 euros. Mbezele was ordered to pay 2,300 euros in damages. Throughout the overnight trial, the court systematically rejected the defence lawyer’s requests to be allowed to prove that that the two Kalara journalists had acted in good faith. May 31, 2021 Find out morecenter_img December 21, 2019 Cameroonian publisher gets two-year suspended sentence after summary trial Cameroonian journalist Paul Chouta sentenced and fined in defamation case News RSF_en This is not the first time that Fotso has sued a journalist. In 2017, she had Lewis Medjo, the publisher of the newspaper La Détente Libre, sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of 1,500 euros for allegedly defaming her. May 19, 2021 Find out more News News Officially, the trial was about two stories in October 2018 quoting what ruling party parliamentarian Faustine Fotso had said about a court case during a dinner party. Based on a recording made by one of the guests without her knowledge, Kalara reported Fotso’s description of the ploys she used to influence the judges’ decisions in a dispute between two politicians, a brother and sister, who were fighting over the legacy of their late father, onetime Prime Minister Salomon Tandeng Muna. Help by sharing this information April 23, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Cameroon News CameroonAfrica Judicial harassment last_img read more

Christmas/New Year’s Message From the Consul General of Jamaica at Miami,…

first_imgIt is hard to believe that another year has passed and that we are preparing to celebrate the Christmas Season once again.  Of course, the Season symbolizes the spirit of hope, family, togetherness and rebirth. It is also a time for us to reflect on the year that passed, and to focus our minds and energies on the tasks that lie ahead for us as individuals, as a people and as a nation.This year Jamaica celebrated its 55th year of Independence, which was observed under the theme “Celebrating Jamaicans at home and abroad”.  This theme recognizes that the strength of Jamaica lies in the talent, resilience and creativity of our people, whether at “yawd” or “abrawd” – a people that continue to rise above what may seem to be insurmountable challenges and who continue to exert their influence at the global level.As part of the celebrations to mark this milestone year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade hosted the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference in Kingston, which served to reinforce the bonds of nationhood among Jamaicans across the globe and to highlight the areas for opportunity and collaboration with the Diaspora.For our part, the Consulate-General has sought to foster a sense of community within the area under our jurisdiction, as Jamaicans overseas have a key role to play in ensuring that Jamaica becomes the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.  In this regard, I express sincere gratitude to the various diaspora groups and individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Jamaica in diverse areas including education, health, social programmes, business development and the fight against crime. The Consulate-General is committed to doing what we can to deepen this on-going partnership during the coming year and beyond.On behalf of the staff of the Consulate-General of Jamaica at Miami, I convey best wishes for this Christmas Season and a New Year that is filled with countless blessings.One love!Franz HallConsul General for the Southeastern United States of America,The Bahamas and the Cayman Islandslast_img read more