Despite hopes for greater press freedoms in Cameroon, government authorities continue to self-censor reports in deference to the powers that be, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in an annual report released recently.
According to the 2018 Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders, Cameroonian authorities have imposed a climate of fear and self-censorship on media practitioners.
The index showed that Cameroon had made a slight progress from 2017 moving from 130th spot to 129th this year. That notwithstanding, journalists face huge hurdles some of which led to exorbitant fines and in some cases jail terms. “The authorities have imposed a climate of fear and self-censorship. At the same time, the government has withheld final legal certification from many radio stations in order to keep them under permanent threat of closure”.
The report further cites Cameroon’s 2014 terrorism law “that provides for trial by military court has been used to keep a Radio France Internationale correspondent in detention for nearly two and a half years”. Stating that, other journalists were arrested during the crackdown on protests in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions, where the Internet was disconnected for several months from January 2017 onwards.