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Cameroon journalist jailed for covering unrest

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) demanded the immediate release of broadcaster Mimi Mefo on Thursday after she was arrested in Cameroon on trumped-up charges.

Ms Mefo, who is the head of English news and a presenter for the privately owned Equinoxe television and radio station, was arrested and taken to prison in Douala on Wednesday after covering unrest in the west of the country.

According to her lawyers she was interrogated and charged with “publishing and propagating information that infringes on the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cameroon.”

CPJ deputy executive director Robert Mahoney said: “Cameroon cannot be allowed to suppress coverage of unrest in its western, Anglophone regions by detaining journalists like Mimi Mefo. She must be released immediately.

“The charge of publishing information that infringes on territorial integrity is a laughable smokescreen for censorship, plain and simple.”

Protests have taken place in the predominantly English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions of the country with a crackdown by authorities against those campaigning for the continued use of the English language in schools and courts.

Hundreds have been jailed and last year the government blocked internet access to the regions for three months.

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