The Committee to Protect Journalists and some eighty-one media, press freedom and right groups have appealed to some ten African Leaders including President Biya to release detained journalists amidst growing concerns posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Journalism must not carry a death sentence.” It is with this words that some eighty-one undersigned media, press freedom, and human rights organizations ended a letter addressed to some African Heads of State including Cameroon’s President Biya, urging them to release jailed journalists in the wake of the sweeping Coronavirus.
According to the most recent annual survey undertaken by Committee to protect journalists, seven journalists are detained in Cameroon under conditions favourable to the prevailing COVID-19 which could be detrimental for their health.
“For journalists jailed in countries affected by the virus, freedom is now a matter of life and death. Imprisoned journalists have no control over their surroundings, cannot choose to isolate, and are often denied necessary medical care…” The letter partly reads.
Standing thus on Article 16 of the African charter on Human and People’s Rights which states that “Every individual shall have the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health.», Article that was extended to prisoners and detainees, the group urged the different governments to urgently release every detained media man.