“We have repeatedly argued that the independence of the judiciary must be respected but that the law must (also) be respected, that Mr. Vamoulké has the right to a fair trial”, said the head of diplomacy French Jean-Yves Le Drian, before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.
“In each of our exchanges with the Cameroonian authorities, we recall these principles,” he said. “We are vigilant so that Mr. Vamoulké can have a fair trial and very attentive to the way in which all this will unfold,” he added.
The chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Marielle de Sarnez, stressed the concern of French parliamentarians about “the situation of a certain number of prisoners in Cameroon, in particular that of Amadou Vamoulké”, aged 70.
According to the NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which denounces the journalist’s “ordeal” and demands his release, he is being prosecuted for economic crimes never established by the prosecution.
Amadou Vamoulké was appointed head of Cameroon radio-television (CRTV) in 2005 before being arrested in July 2016 while still in this position.
Jean-Yves Le Drian also said he was “shocked by the death in detention” of another Cameroonian journalist, Samuel Wazizi, and said he had asked for an “independent investigation” from the Cameroonian authorities.
The army accuses him of having acted as “logistician of various terrorist groups” in the English-speaking west, torn apart by a separatist conflict.
Six Cameroonian NGOs and four international NGOs, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, also call for an “independent, effective, thorough and impartial” investigation into the death.