CPDM Crime Syndicate climbs 8 places in RSF Ranking, but Journalists still at risk 0

Cameroon has climbed eight spots to 130th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index, according to the annual report released on Friday, May 3, by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Despite this improvement from its 138th position in the 2023 edition, RSF underscores that Cameroon remains one of Africa’s most perilous countries for journalists, despite the proliferation of media outlets, including over 600 newspapers, around 200 radio stations, and more than 60 television channels. The NGO points out that journalists operate in a hostile and uncertain environment.

RSF strongly criticizes the political pressures journalists face. The NGO states that journalists who adopt a critical and independent editorial stance are exposed to significant threats and pressures, particularly when the interests of those in power are involved. This situation is worsened by the head of state’s control over all institutions, promoting self-censorship and causing media alignment with the authorities or certain influential figures.

Journalists in Cameroon frequently encounter verbal and physical assaults, arbitrary arrests, detentions, gag orders, abductions, and risks of assassination. RSF specifically cites the tragic case of Martinez Zogo, the head of private radio station Amplitude FM, who was abducted, tortured, and found dead in January 2023. The NGO also expresses regret over the lack of decriminalization of press offenses on the agenda, as well as the absence of guarantees for access to information and source protection.

Moreover, RSF emphasizes the precarious conditions under which Cameroonian journalists, particularly those in private media, work, compromising their independence.

Each year, RSF publishes its World Press Freedom Index, evaluating the conditions under which journalism is practiced in 180 countries and territories. This year’s report reveals a significant drop in the political indicator, affecting even top-ranking countries like Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. At the bottom of the ranking, countries like Afghanistan, Syria, and Eritrea have seen their political index fall, replacing Asian nations such as China, Vietnam, and North Korea in their previous positions.

Source: sbbc