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Concern for Pius Njawé's safety

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF is concerned about the safety of Pius Njawe, a journalist
who is currently detained at the New Bell prison in Douala, and his family.
Editor-in-chief of the privately-owned thrice-weekly "Le Messager", Njawe
was sentenced on appeal on 14 April 1998 to one year in prison for having
published an article that put forward the possibility that President Paul
Biya had suffered a cardiac incident while watching the 1997 final Cameroon
Cup football match. Njawe recently informed RSF of his concern for his own
safety and that of his family.

**Updates IFEX alerts of 24 and 3 June, 7 May, 23 and 14 April, 20 and 13
January 1998, and others**
Last April, sources which Njawé considers reliable are said to have made him
aware of the apparent displeasure brought about by the publication, in the 6
and 8 July issues of "Le Messager", of an unofficial report, drawn up by
western diplomats, on the governing of Cameroon. According to the same
sources, the physical elimination of the journalist or of members of his
family has allegedly been contemplated. In fact, Njawe's family received
frequent anonymous threats over the telephone last month.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:
  • without prejudging the truth of these allegations, asking them to use
    authority to ensure that an investigation is undertaken to determine if Pius
    Njawe and his family are experiencing such threats, and if need be, asking
    that measures be taken to ensure their safety

    Appeals To

    Mr. Paul Biya
    President of the Republic
    Presidential Palace
    Yaounde - Cameroun
    Fax: +237 23 30 33/22 12 99/23 00 05

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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