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Independent press under fire

The steering committee of the Cameroonian press freedom organisation, OCALIP, on Sunday condemned the imprisonment of journalists but its chairman, Pius Njawe, also called for more professionalism in the media, RFI reported.

"If we want to be respected in the exercise of our work, as other groups are, then we must begin by respecting ourselves and our work, showing a high sense of responsibility by demonstrating an irreproachable level of professionalism," he told an OCALIP steering committee meeting in Douala.

The meeting followed a number of attacks against journalists and media houses.

Earlier this month, the office of Njawe's 'Le Messager' newspaper was broken into, while the head office of the bi-weekly, `Aurore Plus', was burnt by arsonists, according to Michel Misho Mossala, its managing director.

Michel Pekoua, the regional managing director of the `Ouest Echo'
newspaper has been imprisoned in the northwestern town of Bafoussam, since 3 April for "defamation", RFI reported on Monday. Last week, Severin Turkoi, director of the bi-weekly 'La Nouvelle Expression', and two of his assistants were held for questioning for 48 hours and charged with the propagation of false news, RFI reported.

The three journalists were released, thanks to the intervention of the minister of communications who said, however, that two of them would soon be appearing in court, RFI said.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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