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Cameroun : la liberté de la presse mise à mal - voici comment y remédier.

Article published in 2023
Aim: Examine and Analyze the binding international obligations that Cameroon has signed up for in relation to journalistic safety, freedom of expression, and the press. I also examine measures that can mitigate the risks and violence faced by journalists, drawing lessons from the brutal killing of Martinez Zogo. Questions: Why was Martinez Zogo abducted and assassinated? What measures can be taken to improve and/or mitigate the risks and safety challenges faced by Cameroonian professional journalists?

Main Findings

One of the most dangerous and perilous things journalists can do is to cover or report on conflict, abuse of power and unbridled corruption in their home countries. Martinez Zogo was deliberately targeted for using his radio show to expose corruption and illegal practices involving public figures. Martinez named all those suspected of wrongdoing. This earned him the fury and repressive hammer of those he exposed.Even in highly democratic societies like Europe, investigative journalists like Martinez Zogo are under attack. Peter R. De Vries, a well-known Dutch investigative journalist and court reporter, was shot in the head in Amsterdam. He succumbed to his injuries on 15 July 2021. Greek organised crime journalist Giorgos Karaivaz was shot dead in broad daylight in Athens on 9 April 2021. Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese writer, blogger, journalist and anti-corruption activist, died near her home when a car bomb exploded. Some 20 journalists are currently living under permanent police protection in Italy.

Policy recommendations/implications

Respect its international obligations regarding the safety and protection of journalists; Strengthen protection measures for journalists and other media professionals, especially those working on issues related to organized crime and corruption. Thoroughly investigate crimes committed against journalists who are victims of organised crime, to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. Intensive safety training programs are also needed to ensure the safety of journalists during demonstrations, conflicts, and wars. Media organizations, NGOs, and government agencies should ensure that regular safety training programs are available. For example, employers and newsrooms can provide safety training for reporters and news teams, including evasive maneuvers and the development of a standard safety response plan. It is also essential to address psychological safety training (trauma recognition and self-help techniques). Journalists should be constantly insured and provided with physical security, i.e. equipment such as bullet-proof waistcoats, helmets, first aid kits, etc. Government, employers, and newsrooms should provide private security, permanent police, or protection for news crews and journalists. The need for greater solidarity to ensure the safety of journalists across national borders should be emphasized. Cross-border cooperation and collaboration, including the sharing of information, prevention techniques, and strategies, best practices with investigative journalists and newsrooms, could help combat or mitigate the culture of impunity against journalists in Cameroon. A national committee for the protection and safety of journalists should be set up. This committee should be composed of representatives of the government, journalists, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and civil society. The main objective of the committee should be to work together to ensure that journalists in Cameroon work in an environment free from threats and violence.
Research focuses:
Physical, Psychological
Methods used in research:
Case Law, Document analysis
Countries of research focus:
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