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
- 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