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Absent In The Dock: Where Is Cameroonian Journalist Samuel Wazizi?

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Since last year, no word has been heard about Cameroonian Journalist Samuel Wazizi.

The government in her usual style of silencing journalists, has kept Wazizi after he willingly showed up to be interrogated at the Muea Police station – with no iota of resistance.

There are fears that Samuel Wazizi has been eliminated as the court repeatedly fails to produce him for legal proceedings with no explanations. 

Detained since August 2019, his court cases have been adjourned several times and the government has failed to give any explanation, even after his lawyers filed a habeas corpus and were told he would be in court for the following appearance.

There are high fears that Wazizi has been under severe torture by the Infantry Battalion which is said, by law, to have no investigative unit or detention centres. These fears even amount to his having been eliminated. His lawyers and concerned colleagues have been on a man hunt to police stations and prisons, yet no clue.

Samuel Wazizi is an orphan who grew to be the only bread winner of the family he lived with at the time of his arrest.

The pidgin newscaster is either eliminated or he has been secretly moved to the dangerous SED in Yaounde (as his lawyers suggest), where he may be under severe torture.

He was in custody because the separatist group, Ambazonia fighters set up a camp in his farm. Besides, he is also accused of spreading information from separatists Ambazonia fighters to threaten the population.

Despite refusing all allegations levied against him at the moment of his arrest, the police commissioner said he could not grant him bail because the administration of South West “was on the case closely”.

Several court sessions have past and the 21st Motorised Infantry Battalion of South West jurisdiction has failed to produce him for legal proceedings.

He is not the only journalist caught in the government net. Journalists like Paul Chouta, Wawa Jackson and a host of others are still languishing behind bars for their critical reports

With many journalists now scared of reporting, there are fears that the most critical stories in Anglophone regions will go unreported.

In a report we published last year, at least 8 out of every 10 journalists actively reporting on political issues and the Anglophone crisis face threats, torture, harassment and imprisonment for rightly using the media as the fourth estate to check government excesses in Cameroon.

But away from the surroundings of journalism and hard reports against government policies, there’s always a careful way to get a journalist from another side of the coin. The strategy is to silence a journalist through the brutal military even when they get into more social problems not related to their work.

Of course, the best possible response would be for the Cameroon government to stop engaging in practices that trigger the investigative cascade. Journalists won’t stop reporting, either from home or abroad where they go into exile

Government authorities should refuse altogether to do the wrong things and not interfere by allowing journalists to do their job as the fourth estate

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I am Arrey Bate Arrey I am a blogger, digital journalist, Online Marketing consultant & digital entrepreneur who has been featured on the BBC World Service, British Council and other international media. 6 years as a communicator, I am one of Cameroon's best digital communicators and listed among British Council's Top 100 Young Journalists Worldwide in 2019. My blog was nominated at Infinity Blog Awards USA among top 200 blogs from 3,000 submissions worldwide. With a deep knowledge of social media, I founded Arreyb Media, an online media in advertisement, digital branding and blogging with more that 100,000 monthly views on our website . I have built an insight driven online advertising and digital advertising skill serving 500+ brands and running even online presidential election campaigns. I have a deep insight-driven & customer-centered knowledge consulting and developing successful B2B and B2C go-to advertising/marketing ideas and was the first blogger to organize a national tour in Cameroon. The ARREYB Media national tour (ABNTour) was a series of 7 conferences held in 7 towns in Cameroon to train young entrepreneurs & media persons on digital branding and building a band, business or career via social media . Always smiling, I report as a journalist, consult as a media expert I am the founder of the AB Afrikpreneur Awards, an African award to celebrate entrepreneurial bodies & systems across Africa and the author of the book "How To Make Money, Build Right Relationships With Social Media" Through our media prowess, my team and I have been able to help several business owners, brands and institutions make more money and enjoy the beauty of business. I can do same for you ! I believe you have what it takes to change the world and live the life you’ve always wanted. The question is, are you ready to take your business or brand to the next level and start making more money ? I am one click away & anxious to help you []