Cameroon: Journalists Observe Black Wednesday with Calls for justice to Martinez Zogo, Peers
By Synthia Lateu
A call by the Cameroon Journalist Trade Union (CJTU/SNJC) for press men and women to appear in black on Wednesday, January 25, has been widely respected across the country, after the death of a popular journalist Martinez Zogo in the hands of yet to be identified men.
The Journalist trade union in the country is clamouring for justice for Martinez Zogo, Jules Koum Koum, Bibi Ngota, and Samuel Wazizi amongst others who died in similar circumstances. Journalist Martinez Zogo was abducted on January 17, assassinated and his body, in an advanced state of decomposition was dumped in a village in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé on January 22. The national and international community took to different media platforms to condemn the act.
Dressed in black, Cameroonian journalists carried messages that read ”justice for Wazizi, Zogo and others”, “No to the assassination of Journalists”, and “journalists are not your executioners”. Media organs in the country and around the world have since Sunday paid tribute to Zogo while mounting pressure on the government for justice.
The Cameroon Journalist Trade Union in a release published on January 22 stated that “Beyond this colleague, we are all now vulnerable. Where are the Freedom of the Press, freedom of opinion and freedom of expression in Cameroon when exercising in a media now entails a mortal risk? Too many limits have been crossed. This is unacceptable!”
Political figures and civil society actors amongst others have equally heightened calls for immediate investigations while questioning the country’s freedom of expression and level of security. The president of the Cameroon Party for National Reconciliation, PCRN, Cabral Libi regretted that “in a land of justice and broad day light, a media man is kidnapped, tortured and coldly murdered in the most indifference and inadmissible cowardice of authorities and public securities.”
“A shocking level of the barbarism of this regime has just been crossed. How can we take the lives of Cameroonians hostage in a struggle for control of the opinions and heritage of this country? Who will be next on the list of those sacrificed for their clan wars?” The Guardian Post reported.
Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa said: “Martinez Zogo, a respected journalist in the country and former managing director of the private radio station, Amplitude FM, regularly denounced alleged embezzlement by well-known personalities, particularly from the business world. His likely murder has to be added to the already too long list of people killed, raped, convicted or intimidated in Cameroon for speaking out about human rights violations, and this with total impunity.”