by Eric Lee
On Nov. 8th, 2012, a peaceful march was organised in Yaoundé by the Musicians Union of Cameroon, in order to protest against the Port of Douala’s reiterated refusal to pay copyright royalties to artists. This demonstration was harshly repressed by the police forces on instructions of the General Delegate to the national security. Artists walked about 3 kilometers before they started to be brutally assaulted and beaten. More than 500 artists including Anne-Marie Nzié (pictured – aged 85) and the SYCAMU President, Roméo DIKA (who is also Vice-President of the International Federation of Musicians), were dragged to the ground and beaten with batons and fists. 63 of them were thrown into jail and only released after more than seven hours of detention. The others were transported in trucks and locked up for more than 10 hours. Romeo Dika is now accused by some media to have prepared an insurrection, and may be sentenced by life imprisonment or receive the death penalty.