After nearly a month of detention, Cameroonian-American writer-activist, Patrice Nganang has been released from custody by the government of Cameroon, and charges have been dropped.
As previously reported by MercerMe, Nganang, a resident of Hopewell Borough, had been held by the government of Cameroon since December 6, 2017, when as he was about to board a flight to Zimbabwe to join his wife, Dr. Nyasha Bakare, and family. When he did not arrive in Harare as scheduled on the night of Wednesday, December 6, a search for his whereabouts began. On Friday, it was discovered that he was being held at the General Delegation for National Security (DGSN) detention centre in Yaounde, Cameroon. At a hearing with the judiciary police today, Nganang was informed of the charges against him, and he will be sent to a prosecutor who will review his case and decide on what further actions will be taken.
The most serious charges brought against Nganang were that he insulted the President on social media and that he allegedly issued a death threat, based on an emotionally-overwrought Facebook post.
Nganang had just returned from the Anglophone region of the country, which is currently experiencing a year-long crisis following protests in the region against its cultural, political, and economic marginalization. The government’s response has included mass arrests, an internet shutdown, and the excessive use of force which, according to Amnesty International, has resulted in more than 20 people being unlawfully killed by security forces. In the few days that Nganang spent in the region, he witnessed the impact of the government’s heavy-handedness in dealing with the Anglophone minority, and he was deeply moved and angered by the injustice of what he saw.