By Cindy Lemu
The National Trade Union of Cameroonian Journalists, known by its French acronym as SNJC, has called on authorities in the country to stop individuals who threaten and intimidate journalists.
The call comes after Journalist Lazare Kingue of Les Mutations Newspaper, Maurice Yom Edjang of the l’Action Newspaper and many others, complained to the Syndicate about persistent threats and physical attacks against them.
The journalists told SNJC that they started receiving attacks on December 11, from business persons and some leaders of the ruling CPDM party in Kribi, South Region of Cameroon.
In response, the Journalism trade union urged government to ensure journalists are safe and free to operate as the country’s constitution and media law stipulate.
The two journalists are reportedly being hunted for publishing articles that exposed the maneuvers of the head of Cameroon Democratic People Movement (CPDM) in the Ocean Division.
“The colleagues denounced the political games orchestrated by Gregoire Mba Mba, aimed at breaking up the CPDM in the Ocean,” the SNJC release partly reads.
Journalist Lazare Kingue of Les Mutations told SNJC he was physically and verbally attacked on December 11, while returning from a news coverage in Kribi.
He said he was warned not to publish what the attackers termed “allegations” against them again.
SNJC’s president, Marion Obama, outrightly condemned businessmen and politicians who are preventing reporters from practicing freely.
“Businessmen who develop a form of paranoia against the legitimate exercise of journalism,” she said, adding that, “the impunity enjoyed for many years the executioners of the free press in Kribi have ceased once for all”.
The release by SNJC comes few days after a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, on December 14 named Cameroon as the third worst jailer of journalists in Africa after Egypt and Eritrea.
CPJ says at least five out of 56 journalists being jailed by African countries come from Cameroon.
Some of the Journalists being detained by the Cameroon Government include former CRTV General Manager, Amadou Vamoulke; freelance journalist Kinsley Njoka; Mancho Bibixy of Abakwa FM in Bamenda; Thomas Awah; and Tsi Conrad, a freelance journalist arrested in December 2016 for his coverage of protests in Bamenda.
Mimi Mefo Info