Earlier this month, the Cameroonian-American novelist and poet Patrice Nganang was arrested in Douala after writing critically about the Cameroonian government’s brutal response to local instability and protests in the English speaking regions of the country. As a result of his vocal engagement and advocacy on these issues, Nganang is currently being held in a maximum security prison, without possibility of bail, awaiting a hearing now scheduled for January 19th. We at FSG are extremely concerned about Patrice Nganang’s situation, and join PEN America, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and others in calling for his immediate release and safe return to his family.
—Jonathan Galassi, president and publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Further information on his case can be found at the Facebook page Free Patrice Nganang.
The following statement was prepared by friends and family of Nganang:
In the interests of freedom of speech and expression, we ask you to join us and the committee for the liberation of Nganang in calling upon the prosecutor to dismiss the case and allow Patrice to leave Cameroon and return to his family.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP:
1) Please call the Cameroon embassy in your home country/country of residence and demand the immediate release of Patrice. List of embassies here.
2) Contribute to Patrice Nganang’s defense through GoFundMe to fundraise for legal fees in Cameroon here.
3) Please call/email the US Embassy in Cameroon and the State Department and U.S. Senators/Congresspeople. Please contact Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand of New York, Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.
4) Please sign the Open Letter from Princeton University calling for his release. Sign here.
And this Change.org petition too, initiated by African writers. Sign here.
5) Write to Mr. David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Go here.
7) Please spread this message via your social networks using the hashtags, #FreeNganang and #PatriceNganang.
This statement was prepared by friends and family of Patrice.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT PATRICE NGANANG:
Patrice Nganang was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and educated both in Cameroon and in Germany. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and is currently a professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University in New York state. In Spring 2018, he is scheduled to serve as an Old Dominion Professor at Princeton University and to take up a fellowship at Princeton’s Humanities Council. Nganang is the author of several prize-winning novels, including Mount Pleasant (Mont Plaisant) and Dog Days (Temps de Chien), as well as several books of essays and poetry. His website is www.nganang.com.
Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis at the Crossroads