Cameroun drops fake news charges against Mimi Mefo

BY: Daily Graphic
Mimi Mefo was in court to hear that charges were being dropped
Mimi Mefo was in court to hear that charges were being dropped

Cameroon government has dropped charges of fake news levelled against a prominent TV journalist from an Anglophone region.

Mimi Mefo Takambo was arrested after sharing reports on social media alleging that the military was behind the death of an American missionary.

The military said the case was shelved on the orders of President Paul Biya.
Over the last two years, Anglophone areas have been hit by unrest in the majority French-speaking country.

Some English-speaking groups complained of discrimination and were pushing for a separate state.

Ms Mefo, who is the head of English news at the privately owned Equinoxe Television and Radio, was arrested on November 7 on charges of "publishing and propagating information that infringed on the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cameroun".

She had posted on her Twitter account that US missionary Charles Trumann Wesco was shot dead by soldiers. He was killed in October, near Bamenda, in the north-west, one of two Anglophone regions.

Her lawyer said that his client had also posted the military's account - that he had been killed by Anglophone separatists.

An army spokesman said the President had decided to stop the prosecution — by a military tribunal — as "a gesture of magnanimity".

She was freed on November 10, and charges dropped two days later. Local and international media campaign groups had called for her release.

Before her arrest, Ms Mefo had complained of receiving several threats over her reporting of unrest in English-speaking regions.