Prominent Cameroon journalist found dead after abduction | Cameroon

Date: 2023-01-23T10:42:07.000Z

Location: www.theguardian.com

The mutilated body of a prominent Cameroonian journalist has been found near the capital, Yaoundé, five days after he was abducted by unidentified assailants.

Media advocates described Martinez Zogo’s disappearance and death as a further sign of the perils of reporting in the African country.

Zogo, the director of the private radio station Amplitude FM, was kidnapped on 17 January by unknown assailants after trying to enter a police station to escape his attackers, the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.

Zogo had been talking on air recently about a case of alleged embezzlement involving a media outlet with government connections, RSF said.

“Cameroonian media has just lost one of its members, a victim of hatred and barbarism,” Cameroon’s journalists’ trade union said in a statement. “Where is the freedom of the press, freedom of opinion and freedom of expression in Cameroon when working in the media now entails a mortal risk?”

Zogo’s colleague Charlie Amie Tchouemou, the editor-in-chief of Amplitude FM, confirmed Zogo’s abduction and death. The police and the government did not respond to calls for comment.

The incident is the latest in a string of attacks against journalists in Cameroon, which is ruled by President Paul Biya, who has a decades-long record of repressing opposition.

The country is one of many across the continent, from Burkina Faso to Ethiopia to Equatorial Guinea, where journalists complain that media freedoms are under threat from authoritarian governments.

“Although Cameroon has one of the richest media landscapes in Africa, it is one of the continent’s most dangerous countries for journalists, who operate in a hostile and precarious environment,” RSF says in its Cameroon country profile.

A Radio France Internationale reporter, Ahmed Abba, was arrested in July 2015 and imprisoned for two years on terrorism charges that rights groups denounced as a sham. Paul Chouta, a reporter who worked for the private news website Cameroon Web, was beaten and stabbed by unknown attackers in 2019.