Friday, June 18, 2010

IFEX ALERT Freed editor wants to reopen newspaper: “Our readers are waiting”

(RSF/IFEX) - Lewis Medjo, editor of the weekly "La Détente Libre", who was released from prison on 26 May 2010, has talked to Reporters Without Borders about his hopes of getting back to work.

"It is vital for me that I rest and spend time with my family. The months in custody really took their toll. I am physically weakened. But I want to quickly find people of goodwill ready to provide financial backing to my newspaper that will allow it to appear again."

"We have a duty to pick up the struggle again for our readers. They are there, waiting for us. Moreover, I want to thank them for their support, together with everyone who fought for me during these months of incarceration."

"However, I am worried for my contributors. Since my release, they have been receiving anonymous calls, telling them to break their contract with my newspaper. They are really frightened. These threats have a history. During my imprisonment, they had to write under pseudonyms for fear of reprisals on the part of the Cameroon authorities," Medjo said.

Reporters Without Borders congratulates Medjo's entire editorial team, who are standing by him despite the threats. "We cannot morally break the contracts we have with Lewis and we want to go on fighting alongside him," Jean François Mvogo, a journalist with "La Détente Libre" told Reporters Without Borders.

Medjo, who was taken into temporary custody on 22 September 2008 for "disseminating false news", was sentenced to three years in prison on 7 January 2009.

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