Angela Quintal Reports Biya To CAF's Court. She Wants CAF To Withdraw Cameroon's Right To Host The 2019 AFCON

Angela Quintal Reports Biya To CAF. She Wants CAF To Withdraw Cameroon's Right To Host The 2019 AFCON The African Committee t...

Angela Quintal Reports Biya To CAF. She Wants CAF To Withdraw Cameroon's Right To Host The 2019 AFCON

The African Committee to Protect Journalists(CPJ) have written to the President of the Confederation of African Football(CAF) Ahmad Ahmad, urging him to suspend Cameroon's hosting rights of the 2019 AFCON, if government continue to keep journalists arrested in connection with the Anglophone crisis under detention.

CPJ, which is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving press freedom, wants CAF to demand that the Cameroonian government ceases censoring and harassing the media ahead of the African Cup of Nations, scheduled to begin on January 12, 2019 in the West African state.

In a letter addressed to CAF Friday Angela Quintal, Africa Program Coordinator said ‘CAF should not reward repressive governments for their repression.’

She added that with the coming of AFCON and the arrest of Journalists, visiting journalists will be afraid to come to Cameroon for fear of repression. “The Africa Cup of Nations will likely attract journalists and media coverage from around the world. Given Cameroon’s continued disregard for press freedom, for a wide array of human rights, and for accountability for crimes against journalists, we are concerned that visiting journalists will not be able to report freely from Cameroon. Their Cameroonian colleagues already cannot.”

This is not the first time Angela Quintal is frowning at the way the Cameroon government for repressing journalist. She recently made an outing when RFI Hausa Journalist Ahmed Ahmad was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for alleged "non-denunciation of terrorism" and "laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts". "Ahmed Abba should never have been detained, prosecuted, and convicted for his journalism--let alone ordered to spend a decade behind bars," Angela had criticised. "This outrageous sentence signals the lengths that Cameroon authorities are willing to go to intimidate the media and thwart freedom of the press." she frowned.

Read her letter below:


Dear Mr. Ahmad,

We at the Committee to Protect Journalists, an international, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving press freedom, ask that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) join calls on the Cameroonian government to release all journalists detained for their work in Cameroon and to cease censoring and harassing the media ahead of the African Cup of Nations, scheduled to begin on January 12, 2019.

Cameroon’s appalling press freedom record and its continued use of military courts to try journalists on terrorism charges are a far cry from the vision of an “Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, and the rule of law” the African Union, CAF, and other partners support in their Agenda 2063.

The Africa Cup of Nations will likely attract journalists and media coverage from around the world. Given Cameroon’s continued disregard for press freedom, for a wide array of human rights, and for accountability for crimes against journalists, we are concerned that visiting journalists will not be able to report freely from Cameroon. Their Cameroonian colleagues already cannot.

International sporting bodies such as the International Olympic Committee are adopting human-rights assessments as part of the process by which countries bid to host events. They are implementing press freedom monitoring mechanisms. We urge the CAF to consider a similar course. The CAF should not reward repressive governments for their repression.

Cameroon’s treatment of the press has steadily deteriorated since December 2016, notably with the targeting of Anglophone media and the use of anti-terrorism legislation to silence critics or those who report news the government does not wish to see reported. Radio France Internationale journalist Ahmed Abba, jailed since 2015, was sentenced in April by a military court to 10 years in prison for his work. At least six other journalists remain behind bars in the country awaiting trial by military courts on terrorism charges.

Faced with protests and labor strikes, Cameroonian authorities cut off internet access to the western, Anglophone regions of the country between January and April of this year, a sweeping form of censorship so broad it does not distinguish between content or source. In March, CPJ asked Cameroonian Minister of Information Issa Tchiroma Bakary for information regarding the detention of journalists Tim Finnian, Atia Azohnwi, Amos Fofung, Thomas Awah Junior, Mfor Ndong, Hans Achomba, and Medjo Lewis, following his contention that no journalists were in jail in the country. He has not responded.

Meanwhile, media outlets and their staff continue to fear suspension or other reprisal for their work.

Last month you spoke of the “central place” of “transparency” in opening “a new era…for African football.” We ask you to show support for the very people working for that transparency in Cameroon: the country’s journalists who today work in fear of joining their colleagues behind bars for that same commitment to transparency.

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these important issues in person.

Sincerely,
Angela Quintal
Africa Program Coordinator

CC:

Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA

Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary-General

Related

Sports 9118513876376623077

Post a Comment

emo-but-icon

Recent Comments

Comments By: Oudney's Studios
item