The Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists (CAMASEJ), has condemned the increasing arrest of journalists “and their continuous incarceration without judgment” in the country.
In a statement issued on Friday February 11, the National President of the association, Simon Lyonga notes that since a protest erupted in the English speaking regions of the country late last year, many press officials have been harassed and radio stations closed.
Friday’s statement followed the apprehension of two English speaking journalists in Buea in the South West region a day earlier.
Atia Tilarious, political desk editor of The Sun newspaper and Amos Fofung, Buea bureau correspondent of The Guardian Post were whisked from the latter’s Molyko domicile and conveyed to the third police district of Buea where they’ve since been in custody.
“This comes to increase the number of journalists held in custody this day by state authorities,” the CAMASEJ release noted citing another journalist, Tim Finnian arrested in Bamenda last month and ferried to the Secretariat of State for Defence (SED) in the nation’s capital.
The association has called for their immediate and unconditional release.
“While calling for their immediate release, we are calling on all our members and pressmen to remain calm and most of all professional in the discharge of their duties. For professionalism is the only but strongest weapon placed in the hands of a journalist,” Simon Lyonga stated in the statement.
The CAMASEJ president called on authorities to regard journalists in the country as partners reminding the latter that Cameroon is signatory to the United Nations charter that promotes freedom of speech.
“Also the 1990 law on social Communication in Cameroon enables its citizens; talk less of journalists to express their views freely,” Simon Lyonga said wondering why media men and women should be prevented from carrying out their missions.