Journalists in Cameroon are fuming over the abduction of their colleague, Martinez Zogo, host of a popular program on Amplitude radio station in Yaounde.
Nzogo was whisked by unidentified men in the evening of Tuesday, January 17, in Yaounde as he was returning from work.
His whereabouts are yet to be known and his relatives and colleagues have remained worried.
His telephone lines have not been going through, MMI learned, and journalists are calling his abduction an attack on the press.
Zogo might have been abducted in relation to a critical embezzlement suit he filed against pro-regime media millionaire, Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga, CEO of Anecdote Group, which owns Vision 4 television.
Reports say Martinez Zogo provided vital information to judicial officers supporting the embezzlement accusations against Belinga.
The abduction of Martinez Zogo is not an isolated case of recent attacks against journalists in Cameroon.
Reports say the Publishing Director of the daily newspaper, Le Messager, is yet to recover from a traumatic experience he had recently at the State Secretariat of Defence, SED, in Yaounde.
Channon was released on Wednesday, January 19, after he had been briefly detained by the Gendarmerie for publishing information that implicated the Divisional Officer of Yaounde 7.
He was only released after the public prosecutor at the Yaounde-Ekounou Court for First Instance said he had not ordered for his arrest or detention.
Cases of arrests, intimidation, attacks on journalists are visibly on the rise in Cameroon.
Recently, some journalists where also verbally attacked and assaulted by some popular politicians in Kribi, South Region.
Although Cameroon’s media laws permit freedom of the press, the reality is quite different as the government has continued to frustrate critical and objective journalism.
The Committee to Protect Journalist, CPJ, in its most recent press freedom index, ranked Cameroon 135 out of 180 countries in terms of press freedom.
“Journalism is an extremely precarious profession in Cameroon and this undermines the independence of its practitioners,” the CPJ wrote.
“Some state aid is provided to the media but the amount is regarded as insufficient, and it is available only to those outlets that reflect the government’s views. Government allies have been known to create a completely new media outlet just to economically undermine one whose reporting was too critical of the government,” it furthered.
Mimi Mefo Info