Cameroon: Police Raided and Assaulted Journalists in Douala On WPFD

press release

According to a statement issued by the SNJC, their gathering was in accordance with Law 90/055 of 19 December, 1990 which ensures their rights to gather at the Place du Gouvernment Bonanjo in Douala to read their statements and those from the Secretary General of the United Nations. The police however, rudely interrupted the event by chasing journalists as soon as they arrived at the venue, brutalising them and confiscating their equipment.

The SNJC noted that it will report this act of aggression to the Government, as well as UNESCO, the Secretary General of the United Nations and to the President of the IFJ. SNJC 'Strongly condemns this arbitrary act which has no benefit to the image of the country and deeply regrets that the forces of law and order are conspicuous by their violence against the men and women of the media'.

The General Secretary of the IFJ, Anthony Bellanger said that the wilful disruption of the gathering of journalists in Cameroon on World Press Freedom Day, shows how much media freedom has deteriorated in the country. 'What happened on 3 May in Douala is unacceptable and a dangerous precedent to media freedom, democracy and the rule of law. May 3 is a day specifically set aside by UNESCO and the world at large to recognise the essential work of journalists and their contributions in informing, educating and entertaining the citizenry and more so in enhancing democracy and the rule of law. To attack journalists on World Press freedom day is a sacrilege that cannot be forgiven.

The International Federation of Journalists joins its affiliate SNJC in calling on the Government of Cameroon to do more in protecting media freedom. Cameroon as a democratic country must ensure that its media laws are in line with internationally recognised standards and create a conducive environment for journalists to do their work. The perpetrators of crimes against journalists in Cameroon must be brought to justice and the government of Cameroon must do everything possible to end impunity.

For more Information, please contact the IFJ - Africa Office

1st Floor, Maison de la Presse, 5 Rue X Corniche, Medina,

BP 64257, Dakar, Senegal

Tel: +221- 33 867 95 86/87; Fax: +221- 33 827 02

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.