25/11/2010 06:23:43
President orders two Cameroon journalists freed
Two Cameroonian journalists charged with fraud and using forged documents in March were released Wednesday on orders of President Paul Biya, one of the two told AFP.
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Robert Mintya, managing editor of the Le Devoir daily, said he and Serge Sabouang, who held the same position at the daily La Nation, were freed in the afternoon.

Bibi Ngota, managing editor of the Cameroun Express, who had been charged at the same time, died in detention on April 22.

"As soon as I was free, I went to church to thank God," Mintya said. "I also thank President Biya as we were told that he had ordered our release." He did not give details.

Sabouang and Mintya were arrested by police, "not because of a news article, even less because they are journalists, but because they made false documents with which they carried out incorrect actions," a police told AFP at the time.

They were suspected of forging the signature of the president's chief of staff Laurent Esso. Ngota was arrested for the same reasons.The Cameroonian journalists union SNJC welcomed their release.

"Even though it only comes today, after a very long period of detention without judgement, the SNJC welcomes it whatever the real motive," the union said in a press statement.

Ngota's family said he suffered from high blood pressure and hernia which needed surgery, and alleged he did not get proper treatment.

The government attributed his death to an HIV infection and related diseases. Officials said he had not been tortured.


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