Saturday, April 23, 2011

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: CAMEROON STOP!

Stop Punishment of Journalists Probing Public Corruption 

A Year After death of journalist in prison, CPJ calls for justice & reforms



Cameroon - from our international desk Amsterdam - Source: New York, April 22, 2011—The government of Cameroon should initiate reforms to guarantee journalists’ ability to report on issues of public interest without fear of reprisal, said the Committee to Protect Journalists in a letter sent today to President Paul Biya one year after the death of a local journalist in pre-trial detention for reporting on corruption allegations.


CPJ holds the government responsible for the death of Germain Cyrille Ngota Ngota, a probing editor with the monthlyCameroon Express, who perished in prison on April 22, 2010, due to a lack of medical attention despite repeated requests for help. The organization is seeking an investigation into the case. Ngota was initially detained in February 2010 after he and three other reporters questioned a government official regarding allegations of embezzlement of public funds at Cameroon’s state oil authority, SNH. The government’s own investigation revealed that the official ordered state intelligence agents to arrest the journalists and unmask their sources. Another journalist has accused state intelligence of torturing him while in detention.

CPJ urged Biya in the letter to end the practice of abusive detentions and criminal prosecutions that allow for settling scores with critical or probing journalists. The organization also called for a reform of the “criminal code so that defamation, libel, and press offenses are adjudicated by civil courts. In the interest of public accountability, transparency, and democracy, we call on you to take all necessary steps to hold to account officials and security services who abuse their authority in reprisals against their critics in the press.”

Unfortunately, Ngota’s case is part of a broader climate of repression for reporting that sheds light on the management of public resources. Earlier this month, a provincial governor in Cameroon had a journalist detained after he made routine inquiries about the arrests of two employees at the state-run palm oil company. The authorities later said the reporter had been detained for his own protection. Authorities also banned a newspaper amid legal harassment of journalists investigating public corruption. With a score of 2.2 out of 10 Cameroon’s public sector is ranked as highly corrupt on Transparency International’s index.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 465-1004
Fax: (212) 465-9568
Web: www.cpj.org

Monday, April 18, 2011

Songwriter released

Cameroon - inter. desk Amsterdam - (WiPC/IFEX) - 11 April 2011 - The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International welcomes the release of singer-songwriter Lapiro de Mbanga (real name: Pierre Roger Lambo Sandjo) on 8 April 2011. Mbanga was freed on completion of a three-year prison sentence for allegedly instigating anti-government riots. However, PEN believes that Mbanga, who is known as an outspoken critic of the Cameroonian government both as a songwriter and an opposition party member, was punished for his critical views, in violation of his right to freedom of expression.

The well known singer-songwriter was released from New Bell Prison in Douala. There were concerns that Mbanga would be detained beyond the expiry of his sentence due to the Cameroonian government's fear of how people would react to his release in the run-up to presidential elections due to take place in October 2011. Mbanga is a member of the opposition party Social Democratic Front (SDF). However, despite initial claims by the prison authorities that he was merely being transferred to another detention centre, Mbanga was released one day earlier than anticipated and returned to his home in Mbanga City.

Read more on: http://www.ifex.org/cameroon/2011/04/13/mbanga_released/

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Newspaper banned, editor given suspended prison sentence


Cameroon - intl. desk - Source: CPJ/IFEX - New York, March 28, 2011 - Authorities in Cameroon must end judicial harassment of journalists reporting on public corruption, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today after a court handed an editor a suspended prison sentence and banned his newspaper for reporting on alleged mismanagement of a transportation company.

A panel of three magistrates in the commercial city of Douala convicted Editor Jean-Marie Tchatchouang of the weekly Paroles of defamation on Friday under Cameroon's penal code and gave him a six-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 185,200 CFA francs (US$390). The court also ordered Tchatchouang to pay 1 million CFA francs (US$2,100) in damages and suspended his newspaper indefinitely, according to local journalists and news reports. Tchatchouang appealed the ruling, he told CPJ.

"We condemn the sentence given to Jean-Marie Tchatchouang and the outright ban of his newspaper," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. "We call on the appeals court to overturn the lower court's ruling, which amounts to censorship on reporting on a matter of public interest."

The charges were linked to Paroles' publication of letters from current and former personnel of Douala's main bus company, Socatur, alleging mismanagement and abuse by CEO Jean Ernest Ngallè Bibéhé and his wife, the human resources manager. Both denied any wrongdoing.

Another Cameroon journalist, Raphaël Nkamtchuen, editor of the periodical La Boussole, is also facing a prison sentence for investigating a leaked official document suggesting alleged executive interference in a high-profile corruption investigation.

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Release Al Jazeera journalists held in Libya - Free the four - Al Jazeera English



©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.