The country loses 4 points and ranks 130th out of the 180 countries in the world press freedom rankings published on Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).
According to the international non-governmental organization which aims to defend press freedom and the protection of journalists’ sources in Cameroon, the audiovisual and print media are flourishing, but many radio stations present throughout the country territory have not received their definitive approval.
This technique is used by the Government to keep these media privately owned under the permanent threat of closure. RSF also notes the prosecution of journalists for defamation, without being aware of it, thus being “condemned to exorbitant fines or prison sentences without ever being able to defend themselves in court“.
Indeed, the new Anti-Terrorism law in Cameroon plans to bring the defendants before military tribunals, following the example of Ahmed Abba, Hausa correspondent for Radio France Internationale (RFI), who was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in prison and A fine of 55 million CFA francs by the military court of Yaoundé for acts of “laundering of terrorism products” and “non-denunciation of terrorist acts“.
The international organization for the defense of journalists also notes that other media professionals are under arrest, arrested during the repression of demonstrations in the English-speaking regions of the North-West and South-West where, from January 2017, the Internet connection was cut off before being reinstated at the end of last week.