Freedom House Fears for Life of Cameroonian Activist
Freedom House is concerned for the safety of Cameroonian human rights defender, Maximilienne Ngo Mbe, after she has received numerous threats to her life and the lives of her family. Freedom House calls on Cameroonian authorities to protect Ms. Ngo Mbe and denounces this harassment.
On March 22 and again on March 26, Ms. Ngo Mbe received messages from the telephone number +237 76 10 05 79, both of which suggested that her life and the life of her children were in imminent danger. Ms. Ngo Mbe has reason to believe that these threats—as ones she has received before—are coming from the Cameroonian authorities.
For more than twenty years, Ms. Ngo Mbe has worked tirelessly to protect human rights in Central Africa as executive director of the Central African Human Rights Defenders Network (Réseau des Défenseur des Droits Humains en Afrique Centrale, REDHAC). During that time, she has been harassed, placed under near constant surveillance and subject to interference by Cameroonian authorities.
Past threats against Ms. Ngo Mbe have not been idle. In September, her niece was mistaken for her daughter and was kidnapped, raped and beaten by men who indicated it was due to her aunt’s anti-governmental activities. These men were wearing Cameroonian security and military force attire. Since then, her children have also been subject to anonymous phone calls and alerts which state that they will no longer see or have a mother soon.
Cameroon is rated Not Free by Freedom in the World 2013 and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2013.
Freedom in the World 2012: Cameroon
Freedom of the Press 2012: Cameroon