Cameroon – Press Freedom: Two Journalism Groups Take Concerns to Littoral Governor

Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua

Littoral governor, Samuel Ivaha Diboua, has in a week granted an audience to the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists (CAMASEJ), and the Cameroon Journalists’ Trade Union(SNJC), all Littoral branches, where both associations raised concerns surrounding the practice of journalism in the region.

SNJC Littoral members were at the governor’s office this Tuesday April 30, led by its president Aristide Ekambi, where they are called for a peace and amicable ground to freely practice journalism.

Governor Diboua commended Littoral journalists for staying professional, while exercising their duties. To him, these journalists have been able to sustain peace and social cohesion through their reports, as compared to those of other regions.

He said President Paul Biya has always advocated for press freedom, and he is amongst those who tolerate criticisms from the press. In relation to the theme of the 2019 World Press Freedom Day, “journalism at the service of peace”, Governor Diboua called on the media to be at the forefront of peace and act responsibly while exercising their duties.

Last Friday April 26, while receiving the Littoral bureau of CAMASEJ, the President of the journalism association Moki Charles Linonge, raised problems faced by journalists such as little access to information, official documents still being delivered only in the French language, government and private services running away from journalists and the fact that most people continue to misjudge journalists.

The situation has aggravated now, according to CAMASEJ Littoral president, following the current sociopolitical tension, the country is going through.

These visits, are part of activities to mark World Press Freedom Day, commemorated every May 3, across the world.
Attacks on the media have increased in Cameroon following the political crisis spearheaded by the opposition party Cameroon Renaissance Movement, and the Anglophone crisis.

Some journalists have gone through police interrogations and harassments in Douala, such as the case of Reuter’s Josiane Kouagheu and Equinox’s Mimi Mefo, which pushed journalism associations to unite and take actions against arbitrary arrests, intimidation and threats.

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