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Arrests, internet restrictions ahead of Cameroon presidential results

Arrests, internet restrictions ahead of Cameroon presidential results

Cameroon

<p><strong>Security forces in Cameroon are on high alert, following a chaotic weekend that was characterised by botched protests, house arrests of opposition politicians, harassment of journalists and restriction of internet access.</strong></p> <p>The results of the October 7 presidential election are expected on Monday, according to the information minister <a href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/cameroon-presidential-results-expected-on-october-22-info-minister/"target="_blank">Issa Tchiroma.</a></p> <p>While the opposition has protested the eventual outcome of the election, arguing that there was massive and systematic fraud, the Constitutional Council dismissed all 18 petitions calling for the partial and total cancellation of the vote.</p> <a style="font-size:16px; font-color:yellow;" href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/live-polls-open-in-cameroon-amid-high-security-separatists-killed/"target="_blank"><span class="caps">READ</span> <span class="caps">MORE</span>: Cameroon top court rejects Kamto, Osih petitions; Biya victory expected</a> <p>Over the weekend, opposition politicians in the economic city of Douala were placed under house-arrest to prevent them from leading planned protests.</p> <p>Local journalists reported that the homes of Jean Mitchel Nintcheu of the Social Democratic Front (<span class="caps">SDF</span>) and Edith Kah Walla of the Cameroon People’s Party (<span class="caps">CPP</span>) were under military siege.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Current scene in front of Cameroon politician <a href="https://twitter.com/KahWalla?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw"><code>KahWalla</a>. House surrounded by heavily armed security forces. <a href="https://t.co/eaIZWXDqqO">pic.twitter.com/eaIZWXDqqO</a></p>&mdash; Rebecca Enonchong (</code>africatechie) <a href="https://twitter.com/africatechie/status/1053962873024712704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 21, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The security forces also arrested journalists who had been deployed to cover the protests including Josiane Kouagheu of the international news agency Reuters.</p> <h2 style="font-size:16px;">Arrest of journalists</h2> <p>The journalists were later released following pressure from the Committee to Protect Journalists (<span class="caps">CPJ</span>) and the local journalists’ body.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It is after 11pm in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Douala?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Douala</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/josianekouagheu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw"><code>josianekouagheu</a>’s driver remains in detention despite her best efforts to ensure he too is released. He was simply waiting in the car for her & a colleague to return from covering a protest. He has done nothing wrong. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cameroon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cameroon</a> must free him now</p>&mdash; Angela Quintal (</code>angelaquintal) <a href="https://twitter.com/angelaquintal/status/1054119066766585857?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 21, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h2 style="font-size:16px;">Restricting internet access</h2> <p>The NetBlocks Internet Shutdown Observatory also reported on Sunday that social media and messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter had been <a href="https://netblocks.org/reports/facebook-and-whatsapp-restricted-in-cameroon-on-eve-of-election-results-YkArL1yj"target="_blank">slowed down</a> by internet service providers in Cameroon.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">My wasap, facebook and Twitter are ok…connection is getting much better than this morning <a href="https://t.co/Z9OxnZQaYD">https://t.co/Z9OxnZQaYD</a></p>— Mimi237 (@Mimimefo237) <a href="https://twitter.com/Mimimefo237/status/1054126931363344384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">21 octobre 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>85-year-old Paul Biya is widely expected to be announced winner of the presidential election, that will secure him a seven-year mandate that will extend his time in power to over four decades.</p> <p>The opposition is likely to call for countrywide protests against a Biya victory.</p>
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