Photo Credit: Global Diaspora News (

Dakar, May 29, 2024 — The Committee to Protect Journalists is highly concerned by a Cameroonian administrator’s use of a law granting him the ability to indefinitely detain journalist Engelbert Mfomo in what he said was retribution for his critical reporting. Cameroonian authorities must reform the country’s laws to ensure journalists cannot be detained for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday.

On May 11, Thierry Kin Nou Nana, the prefect of the Méfou-et-Afamba department in Cameroon’s Centre province, ordered the detention of Mfomo, the editor of the privately owned biweekly newspaper L’Activateur, according to Mfomo, who spoke to CPJ and news reports.

Mfomo told CPJ he was accused of inciting revolt, threats, and insults for his critical reporting on Nana concerning land disputes and the organization of Labor Day celebrations. Mfomo was released on May 14 after he agreed to remain at the gendarmerie’s disposal in the event of a new summons.

To jail Mfomo, Nana invoked a 1990 Cameroonian law that allows administrative authorities — prefects and governors — to place someone in the custody of law enforcement for a renewable period of 15 days “to fight against organized crime.”

“The text is silent” on how many times administrative detention can be extended, Cameroonian lawyer Clémence Mafetgo told CPJ.

“Cameroonian authorities must reform the law that allows authorities to use administrative detention as a tool to jail journalists for their work, used most recently against critical journalist Engelbert Mfomo,” said Angela Quintal, head of CPJ’s Africa Program, from Durban, South Africa. “Cameroonian journalists must be free to scrutinize the administrative management in their localities without fear of detention or legal harassment.”

CPJ calls to the publicly listed number of Nana’s office and questions sent to the prefect’s secretary by messaging application went unanswered.

On September 12, 2023, Kildadi Taguiéké Boukar, the governor of Cameroon’s northern region of Adamaoua, used the same 1990 law to order the administrative detention of Bertrand Ayissi, a reporter for the privately owned newspaper L’Œil du Sahel, on charges of spreading false news in a report on human bone trafficking, according to Ayissi and his editor, Guibaï Gatama, who spoke to CPJ. Ayissi was released later that day.

“Ayissi was summoned for the purpose of cross-checking information,” Boukar told the private French newspaper Jeune Afrique at the time. CPJ calls to the publicly listed number of the Adamaoua governor’s office went unanswered.

In March 2011, the Adamaoua governor used the law to order a five-day detention for reporter Lamissia Adoularc, a correspondent for the daily Le Jour, after he had inquired about the arrest of two employees at a palm tree grower.

Source of original article: Committee to Protect Journalists (
The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (

To submit your press release: (

To advertise on Global Diaspora News: (

Sign up to Global Diaspora News newsletter ( to start receiving updates and opportunities directly in your email inbox for free.