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Administrative crackdown on a Net Neutrality Seminar


Family photosFriday, August 8, 2014 at about 1:15 pm Cameroon time a wagon of top level cops heavily armed, jumped into the Ayaba Banquet hall to stop a seminar on the theme: Promoting Net Neutrality through Multi Stakeholder capacity Building and Dialogue.  To my greatest surprise, after the first training session, a host of police officers moved into the hall asking my colleague and I to follow them to the station for some administrative fixes. This is the first time since 2008 we are facing invisible walls in the field.

They were acting in accordance to a prefectoral order demanding the suspension of the event after complaints from the regional delegate of post and telecommunication qualifying the event as a high security risk.

After about five hours of a loaded police interrogation on the issue, we were released from the Bamenda (I) central police station immediately the investigator gave his report to station chief, a five star top level police commissioner.

At the end of the day, no one could demonstrate how risky the seminar was and why it was to be suspended without any notice from the competent authorities.

An anonymous cop disclosed his disagreement on the action and blamed it to external manipulation from some civil servants. He said “such regrettable incidents have been happening for some time now and will be difficult to eradicate because the police is subject to the executive”. He further advised us to always sort out “technical issues” with those concerned before carrying out such activities for the powers they have can be used at their discretion.

Talks with the regional delegation of post and telecommunication

An assistant to the regional delegate of post and telecommunications, Mr Apa, who was asked to supervise the suspension, advised us to reorganize the seminar in a later date and promised to assist in his own capacity.

Call for action

Dear reader, we invite to show your support for this project geared at promoting freedom of expression in Cameroon. by “liking ” our Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/NetNogCm

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