Australian authorities have denied a prominent Cameroonian journalist visa to attend a press freedom conference in Australia.
Mimi Mefo Takambo had been invited to speak at the press freedom event but had her visa application rejected.
Australia’s Department of Home Affairs had said in its rejection letter that they were “not satisified” that Mimi, had an “employment and financial situation [that would] provide an incentive to return following [their] stay in Australia or to abide by the conditions to which the visa would be subject”.
The journalist who now works for German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, based in Germany expressed her frustration on Twitter.
She wrote “For some insane reason, (the Australian ambassador to Germany’s) team think that Australia is heaven where I will abandon my job in Germany, just to remain there illegally. I guess there are many ways to attempt silencing Journalists.
Mimi said she was looking forward to the conference “in Brisbane & going on from there to deliver the Carlos Cardoso Memorial Lecture at the AIJC in South Africa. Flights are already paid to connect me from Brisbane to Johannesburg.”
For some insane reason, @AusAmb_DE‘s team think that #Australia is heaven where I will abandon my job in Germany, disappoint everyone at the #AIJC in South Africa, just to remain there illegally. I guess there are many ways to attempt silencing #journalists.
— Mimi Mefo Info (@Mimimefo237) October 20, 2019
Ms Mefo recently won the 2019 Index on Censorship’s freedom of expression award for journalism.
The organisation inviting her had criticised the visa decision.
Australia’s biggest media union MEAA, and conference organisers at Griffiths University in Brisbane where she was due to speak have also done same.
Prominent #Cameroon-ian journalist @Mimimefo237 has a great job in #Germany & is a sought-after speaker around the world. She’s been denied a visa to attend @Integrity_20 in #Brisbane where she’s billed to speak as she doesn’t “qualify” to enter #Australia. /2 pic.twitter.com/dmnn8UNUPD
— Angela Quintal (@angelaquintal) October 19, 2019