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Prominent Francophone Web Journalist Arrested Over Night

Yaounde (National Times)- The arrest has been reported of prominent Cameroon French web journalist Paul Chouta.  He was arrested in the night of Tuesday, May 28, by plain cloth state security operatives and taken to the Judicial Police in Yaoundé.

Chouta was reportedly grilled by investigators throughout the night in a case colleagues say is related to a file opened by celebrated Cameroonian author, Calixthe Beyala.

Chouta runs an online site called TGV de l’info and has been a vociferous critic of the regime especially on sensitive topics like the management of the war in Anglophone Cameroon and the October 7 Presidential election.

Chouta has largely covered the activities of opposition candidate Maurice Kamto and is one of those who see him as “President-elect” following the last Presidential election. In most of his write-ups concerning the Anglophone crisis, Chouta has blamed regime operatives and especially Paul Biya for misleading the country and its people. He regularly publishes information about killed soldiers as well as human rights abuses of these soldiers including the activites of separatist fighters.

Few months ago, Chouta released classified documents about the implications of senior state authorities in a scheme which saw Cameroon miss out on  the hosting of the 2019 African Football Cup of Nations (AFCON) .

According to a recent report by the Reporters Without Borders, Cameroon is one of the biggest persecutors of Journalists in the world compared only to countries like Eritrea, Syria, Turkey. The arrest of Chouta comes just three weeks after the celebration of 2019 edition of World Press Freedom Day.

Chouta’s came same day External Relations Minister, Mbella Mbella summoned Foreign Diplomats in Yaoundé to tell them that the Biya regime is a respecter of human rights and freedoms.

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