Cameroon: Disappearance of journalist Wazizi's body - CODE demands international investigation

6 October 2020

The body of the Cameroonian journalist who died in August 2019 in troubled circumstances, has still not been returned to his family.

Samuel Wazizi, 35, real name Samuel Ajiekah Abuwe, an English-speaking journalist with CHILLEN MUZIK AND TELEVISION (CMTV) in Buea, was arrested on the 2nd August 2019 and detained at Muea police station before being transferred to an unknown destination.

He died on August 17th, 2019 (Date communicated by the Cameroonian authorities) during his detention in a secret prison in Yaoundé. The Cameroonian defense ministry recently claimed that the journalist died on August 17 - 14 days after his arrest - from severe sepsis at the Yaoundé military hospital. Since then, the Wazizi family has been waiting for his body so that they can find closure and give him a dignified burial.

The hostility of the power in Yaounde towards journalists other than those who praise the present régime offers little or no assurance to the national and international community in their hope of finding the body of Samuel Wazizi. For CODE, under national and international human rights law, Cameroonian authorities have an obligation to establish responsibilities for each death that occurs in detention.

Faced with this new rather worrying case for communication professionals in Cameroon, CODE demands for:

- An international, independent, and objective investigation to elucidate the murder and bring those responsible to justice.

- Invites the Cameroonian government to provide clarifications on the disappearance of the body of Samuel Wazizi.

- Urges the Cameroonian government to guarantee freedom of the press in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

- Calls for the prompt intervention of competent authorities, professional media associations, civil society, and human rights organizations, with a view to finding ways and means to best resolve this matter.

For the Operational Alert Unit

Ophilia Bih


- National and international press

- Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon

- Cameroonian political parties

- National and international organizations for the defense and promotion of human rights

- Journalists' rights organizations

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.