Dr. Patrice Nganang, a novelist and professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University in the United States has been arrested in Cameroon for a Facebook post critical of the government policies in the Anglophone region. He is being held in a maximum security prison in Yaounde. He is being held for peacefully exercising his right to free expression.
CCS has written the President of the Republic of Cameroon requesting the charges be dropped and Dr. Nganang be released.
December 21, 2017
His Excellency Paul Biya
President of the Republic of Cameroon
P.O. Box 95
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our concern for Dr. Patrice Nganang, a novelist and professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University in the United States, who has been arrested apparently for a Facebook post. Dr. Nganang was detained on December 6, one day after his article critical of policies in Cameroon’s Anglophone region was published in Jeune Afrique.
While an initial charge of insulting the President has been dismissed, it was replaced on Thursday, December 15, with charges of threatening the President, insulting the army, and inciting violence. He is reportedly being held in a maximum-security prison in Yaoundé. We are unaware of any evidence to support these allegations, and believe that Dr. Nganang is being detained for peacefully exercising his right to free expression.
As academic colleagues of Dr. Nganang, we are concerned for his safety, and we strongly urge you to see to it that these charges are dropped, and that he is released immediately and unconditionally. We thank you for your attention to this most serious matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Ambassador H.E. Joseph Bienvenu Charles Foe Atangana
Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
3400 International Drive, NW
Washington DC 20008
Phone: 1 202 265 8790
Fax: 1 202 387 3826