Cameroon ranks 130th in world press freedom index

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APA-Yaoundé (Cameroon) Cameroon has lost four points and ranks 130th out of the 180 countries in the world press freedom rankings released on Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Audiovisual media and press are flourishing in the country, but many radio stations present throughout the territory have not received final approval, RSF reported.

The government uses this technique to keep these privately-owned media under the constant threat of closure.

Journalists are prosecuted for defamation and “condemned to pay exorbitant fines or prison sentences without standing a chance to defend themselves in court,” RSF added.

Cameroon’s new anti-terrorism act provides for the defendants to be brought before military courts, like the correspondent for Radio France Internationale (RFI) in the Hausa language Ahmed Abba, who was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in prison and fined CFAF55 million by the military court of Yaoundé, for “failure to denounce terrorist acts and laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts”.

The international organization for the defence of journalists also noted that other media professionals were arrested, during the repression of demonstrations in the English-speaking regions in the country’s north-west and south-west, where the Internet connection was cut off in January 2017 before being reinstated last week.

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