Keep campaigning for Cameroonian journalist

 FURTHER UPDATE – Monday night

Charles was NOT deported today and has been reprieved for the moment, but things could get worse at any time. The NUJ have reported on the latest developments.

UPDATE: Channel 4 jumped the gun – Charles Atangana is STILL facing possible deportation on Monday evening, so please keep protesting.

If you are in Glasgow on Monday, please join the protest organised by the NUJ. If you are not, please send messages to Theresa May, Home Secretary, at 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF (fax +44 20 8760 3132) appealiong to her not to enforce the deportation order. Charles' Home Office reference number is A1227296.

Also, contact your local MP, MSP or Member of the European Parliament to demand they intervene urgently and call on the Home Secretary not to enforce the removal order until there is a full Judicial Review of Charles Atangana's case. Contact your elected representatives via www.writetothem.com

ORIGINAL POST

I was planning to post this weekend on the campaign to prevent the forced deportation of Cameroonian journalist and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) member Charles Atangana.

 

And then Theresa May issued a last minute reprieve late on Friday afternoon, just after TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber faxed her his letter. The TUC really isn't claiming credit though – at most we were the last straw to "break the camel's back"!

 

A lot of credit, however, must go to the NUJ, the International Federation of Journalists (see the FAJ report on Cameroon) and all the other people who have been demanding for weeks that Charles "belongs to Glasgow" where he has been based for most of the last six years since he fled

 

Cameroon, despite being a member of the Commonwealth and thus governed by the Harare Principles which include freedom of expression, is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. In April, newspaper editor Germain S. Ngota Ngota died in the notorious Kondengui prison in the capital, Yaoundé. He had been detained since February with three of his colleagues because they were investigating corruption allegations involving top presidential aides.

Charles Atangana fled Cameroon in 2004, after being harassed, detained, stripped and beaten while in custody after writing articles critical of the state authorities in his role as a professional journalist. His family in Cameroon have been threatened since then.

But the campaign is not quite over, because Charles has only been granted a reprieve. We still need to persuade the Home Office to grant him asylum, and we need to campaign also for freedom and liberty in Cameroon.

If you're in Glasgow on Monday 2 August, please join the NUJ protest – now no longer against Charles' deportation, but to celebrate his reprieve and call on the Home Office to grant him asylum.

Owen Tudor

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