Cameroon’s Communication Minister, Rene Emmanuel Sadi has called for stringent media laws in the country.
He made the remark in a declaration on World Press Freedom Day celebrated under the theme ‘Journalism under siege’.
The day, he said, “… exalts the virtues of democracy and the freedom to communicate, to express one’s opinions and points of view, which are the foundations of the vitality and stability of any nation that is, like Cameroon, keen on promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
He also said the day was an “opportunity for women and men of the press from all over the world to pause and reflect on the responsible practice of journalism in general, and on their working conditions in particular.”
The theme of the day, this year, he remarked, is a call to reflect on new technological and professional developments and their impacts on the practice of journalism, access to reliable information, and on the media economy in the broader sense.
Minister Sadi then cited what he said were ills in the media. These included what he termed “… the recurrence of defamation, insults and other unwarranted attacks on honour and dignity, without the victims of such attacks having the possibility to defend themselves, and the rise in hate speech, incitement to violence and hostility against the homeland.”
To this end, the member of government said “… the current regulatory actions must be pursued and strengthened, with a view to cleaning up and moralising the media landscape and cyberspace”.
The Minister’s call comes at a time Cameroon is ranked among the worst jailers of journalists in the world.