A recent world classification on press freedom has ranked Cameroon 130th among 180 countries. By this position, the country dominated by French speaking political elites took a downward trend from the 2016 classification. In 2016, Cameroon held the 126th position.
This revelation has rubbished statements made by the so-called government spokesman and Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary that journalists in Cameroon were free and independent. The findings noted that Cameroon is considered a “Not Free Zone”, meaning it is one of the countries with a massive media crackdown.
The International Organization for the Defense of Journalists says media professionals in Cameroon are constantly under police harassment and arbitrary arrest. The Yaounde regime operates a vicious media regulatory board known as the National Communication Council that shuts down independent news organizations. Journalists were arrested during demonstrations in the English-speaking regions where Internet connection was cut off in January 2017 for three months.
By Sama Ernest