Request For Action On Cameroon

We are writing to ask PEN members to help support our fellow writers and journalists in Cameroon. Cameroon has consistently failed to meet its obligation to protect freedom of expression, despite its international human rights commitments and provisions in domestic law. The persecution of Cameroonian writers, musicians and journalists raises other critical human rights issues in the country, including criminal defamation law suits, pre-trial detention abuses, torture in custody, a politicized media licensing regime, a lack of access to public information, and restrictive laws and policies regarding the internet and digital technologies.

On May 1st, 2013, Cameroon’s human rights record will come under review for the second time under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the United Nations (UN). This is a unique opportunity for PEN to raise its concerns about attacks on writers, journalists and freedom of expression in the country, and it is essential that as many PEN members as possible take action to ensure that our voice is heard within the UN.

In preparation for the coming review, in October 2012 PEN International, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Internet Sans Frontières (ISF) filed a joint report to the UN expressing their concerns relating to freedom of expression in Cameroon. Click here to receive the report.

Our request is for you to write to your country’s representative in Geneva to ask that their delegation puts forward PEN’s recommendations during the UN’s review of Cameroon, using this sample letter. You may also wish to forward the PEN/ CPJ/ISF joint report to the delegations in Geneva to support your request. To find the contact details of the United States representative to the United Nations in Geneva, click here.

The period for signing this petition is now over.