Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Patrice Nganang. Image from patricenganang.com.

Patrice Nganyang, a Camerounian author and professor of literature at Stony Brook University in New York, has been arrested for criticizing the country’s president, Paul Biya. The Daily Mail reports that he was “arrested at the airport as he tried to fly to Zimbabwe a day after publishing an opinion piece sharply critical of Cameroon’s president.” Nganang was seized at Douala airport and is being detained in the country’s capital Yaounde.

The opinion piece was published in French on the news site Jeune Afrique and was unsparing of the Cameroonian President Paul Biya’s response to the anglophone crisis. “It will probably take another political regime to make the state understand that the machine gun cannot stem a movement,” Nganang is said to have written. “Only change at the head of the state can settle the anglophone conflict in Cameroon.”

A source stated that, before his arrest, Nganang “drew attention to himself in recent days with several acts of provocation,” which include his Facebook posts. Nganang is said to have “visited the restive anglophone regions that have been hit by an anti-secession government crackdown.”

Cameroun’s Anglophone crisis was the subject of an essay by Imbolo Mbue earlier this year in The Guardian. There have been “calls for greater autonomy in Cameroon’s two English-speaking areas, the Northwest and Southwest Regions,” which “have been rejected by Biya whose government has led a crackdown on the separatist drive.”

Anglophone Cameroonians constitute a fifth of the country’s 22 million citizens and have protested against the economic inequality and educational and legal discrimination rooted in the country’s Francophone-Anglophone divide.

A group of writers in Cameroon have called for Nganang’s release. PEN America, meanwhile, has issued a statement through its Director of Free Expression at Risk Programs, Karin Deutsch Karlekar.

“Detaining an important independent voice like Patrice Nganang, who has used his writing to investigate the consequences of violence, is indicative of a movement by the government to silence all political criticism and dismantle the right to free expression. We condemn Nganang’s detention and call on the Cameroonian authorities to release him unharmed immediately.”

We will keep you updated on this development.

 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report wrongly stated that Nganang teaches at New York University. 

Tags: , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Cameroonian writer is arrested - African Politics and Policy - December 12, 2017

    […] https://brittlepaper.com/2017/12/camerounian-author-patrice-nganyang-arrested-criticizing-president/ […]

  2. Cameroonian Novelist Patrick Nganang Details His Experience at Kondengui Central Prison – Afrikáná - February 22, 2018

    […] few weeks ago, we reported that Cameroonian novelist Patrick Nganang was remanded in prison, following an article he […]

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Apply to Africa Is a Country’s $3,000 Fellowship Program for Intellectual & Cultural Producers of Africa-Related Knowledge

Timbuktu library - PHOTOGRAPH BY BRENT STIRTON, GETTY IMAGESNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The political and intellectual culture platform Africa Is a Country (AIAC) has announced its inaugural Fellowship Program, “of up to […]

Oxford English Dictionary Recognizes West African English, Adds 29 Nigerian Words & Senses

danfo buses in Lagos - guardian nigeria

Oxford English Dictionary has recognized West African English, bringing its number of World Englishes to 15, including Australian, Canadian, Caribbean, Hong Kong, Irish, […]

100 Most Influential Young Nigerians: Otosirieze Obi-Young, Arit Okpo, Kiki Mordi, Richard Akuson & Olutimehin Adegbeye Make Avance Media’s List

otosirieze obi-young, arit okpo, olutimehin adegbeye, richard akuson, kiki mordi on Avance Media's list of 100 most influential young nigerians

Brittle Paper’s Deputy Editor Otosirieze Obi-Young has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Young Nigerians” in 2019 by […]

For Working Class Writers & Refugees, Sulaiman Addonia Is Giving Out 40 Free Tickets to the Asmara Addis Festival

Asmara Addis Literray Festival in Exile (13)

When writing is described as an elitist profession, critics mean that opportunities in the field are determined by access, which […]

Modern Sudanese Poetry | New Anthology Spans Six Decades of Sudanese History & Cultural Intersections

Modern Sudanese Poetry - graph

Modern Sudanese Poetry: An Anthology, translated and edited by the Sudanese poet Adil Babikir, was published in paperback in September […]

Chuma Nwokolo Compensated in Plagiarism Lawsuit Against High Definition Film Studio, Shares More Stories of Plagiarism of His Work

chuma nwokolo by Yusuf Dahir

In November 2019, the Nigerian author Chuma Nwokolo called out Nollywood filmmaker Bright Wonder Obasi for using sections of his […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.