Cameroon: Second worst for journalists

Solomon Tembang Mforgham, AfricaNews reporter in Limbe, Cameroon
Cameroon has been named the second worst county for journalists in Africa, a report from the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said.
Following the news that Lewis Medjo, editor of the Cameroon weekly La Détente Libre, is serving a three-year jail, the CPJ has written to President Paul Biya to voice their concern. According to the letter, Medjo is the fourth newspaper editor jailed in Cameroon since September 2008, making the country the second worst jailer of journalists in Africa.

Three other newspaper editors, Michel Mombio of L’Ouest Républicain, Flash Zacharie Ndiomo of Zénith, and Armand Ondoa of Le Régional, have each spent more than three months in Nkondengui Central Prison in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, facing criminal charges for critical coverage of government officials.

CPJ’s Executive Director, Joel Simon, stated in the letter to President Biya: “We believe that journalists should not be imprisoned for their work and that defamation and libel are civil, not criminal, matters. We therefore urge you to scrap criminal defamation laws used to prosecute and imprison journalists for their critical coverage of public affairs.”