Dec. 30, 2017

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Dissident Stony Brook UUPer freed from Cameroon jail

uupdate 12-30-17(Photo Credit: Jeffrey Basinger)

Stony Brook Chapter member Patrice Nganang, who was jailed in Cameroon in early December after publishing an article criticizing the county’s leaders, has been released.

Nganang, an associate professor of literary and cultural theory at Stony Brook University, was released from a prison in Yaounde and expelled from the country Dec. 27. He was flown to Washington, D.C. and has returned to his home in New Jersey, according to a Dec. 30 report.

The Cameroon, an online news site that covers Cameroon, reported that Cameroon President Paul Biya ordered his release after bowing to a growing chorus of international outrage over Nganang’s detainment and imprisonment Dec. 6. Cameroon was widely criticized for detaining and jailing Nganang.

“We are gratified to hear that Patrice Nganang is out of Cameroon and safe at home,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “UUP is proud of the stand he took, and his never-ending quest for equality and freedom in his home country. We support him 100 percent.”

“I came back to see a huge international campaign for my release,” Nganang, a native of Cameroon who has dual citizenship there and in the U.S., told Newsday. “I’m going to have to stay here and consider my exile to have started.”

Nganang faced several charges, including criticizing the government and the military, and issuing a death threat, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists; Nganang threatened to kill Biya in a Facebook post, several news outlets reported. He pled not guilty to the charges Dec. 15.

Nganang faced a Jan. 19 hearing for an article he wrote for weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique that criticized President Paul Biya and the Cameroon government for its handling of protests by English-speaking Cameroon citizens.

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