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Cameroonian journalist dies in mysterious circumstances while in custody

JOURNALISTS’ organisations and trade unions have demanded answers after the death in custody of Cameroonian government critic Samuel Wazizi.

The National Union of Cameroonian Journalists announced his death on Tuesday and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released a statement on Wednesday.

But today, the government had still not responded to human rights organisations’ requests for information.

Mr Wazizi was arrested in August last year for criticising the government’s handling of the country’s “Anglophone crisis,” which has seen escalating violence by English-speaking separatist groups in southern Cameroon.

The conflict has caused more than 3,000 deaths and forced more than 700,000 people to flee their homes.

Mr Wazizi was accused of criticising the authorities in a broadcast on Chillen Media Television, a regional channel.

The journalist was never brought before a court and is reported to have died after becoming ill during transfer to the capital Yaounde on an unknown date, with his body arriving at the morgue under heavy escort on Monday.

RSF spokesman Arnaud Froger said: “We call on the authorities to break the intolerable silence surrounding this case … and to conduct a serious and independent investigation to establish the circumstances that led to this tragic event.”

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