Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Cameroon
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||February 2008|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Cameroon, February 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5678423.html [accessed 30 April 2016]|
Prosecutors in the capital, Yaoundé, charged Georges Gilbert Baongla, managing editor of the weekly tabloid Le Démenti, with publication of obscene materials and contempt of morals and decency. The April charges stemmed from a March 27 story trumpeting an alleged "homosexual scandal" involving an unidentified government minister. Baongla was fined 500,000 CFA francs (US$1,200) and forced to serve a six-month prison term.
In August, publisher Wirkwa Eric Tayu of the private weekly The Nso Voice, the sole media outlet based in the northwestern town of Kumbo, went into hiding shortly before he was sentenced to a year in prison and a fine of 850,000 CFA francs (US$1,800) on eight counts of alleged press offenses, including criminal defamation, according to defense counsel Blaise Berinyuy. The ruling was linked to the paper's publication of a government audit incriminating Kumbo's mayor in corruption schemes, Assistant Editor Alice Tomla told CPJ. An appeal was filed, but the paper stopped publishing for fear of official reprisals.
Stories alleging mismanagement of public finances by Prime Minister Ephraïm Inoni and former Finance Minister Polycarpe Abah Abah led to libel convictions in September against directors Bernard Owona of La Vitrine and Robert Mintya of Le Devoir, according to news reports and local journalists. Owona and Mintya were fined 1 million CFA (US$2,100) apiece.