The Committee to Protect Journalists(CPJ) has addressed a letter to the Confederation of African Football(CAF) to urge Cameroon to release all journalists arrested for their work in the country, reports Daily Nation.
This call comes a few months to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Cameroon.
The letter was addressed to Ahmad Ahmad on Friday.
CPJ, a non-profit making organisation, seeks to preserve press freedom.The organisation demands that Cameroon stops censoring and harassing the media ahead of the event.
CPJ condemns Cameroon’s use of military tribunals to try journalists accused of terrorism related offences. This, according to CPJ, is contrary to the vision of an “Africa of good governance, democracy, and respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law” which the African Union, CAF, and other partners support in their Agenda 2063, reports Daily Nation.
The media men and women are concerned that they may not be able to cover the event freely, given that their Cameroonian colleagues “already cannot”.
Several journalists have been arrested and detained in Yaounde. Most of them are from the English-speaking part of the nation, arrested in the wake of the Anglophone Problem.
Last April the correspondent of Rfi in Cameroon was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a military tribunal ‘found him guilty of terrorism related offences’. Ahmed Abba was arrested in 2015 when he was covering the Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of Cameroon.