IPI, the global network for independent media, calls on authorities in Cameroon to swiftly investigate the horrific murder of journalist Martinez Zogo and ensure the culprits are brought to justice.
Zogo, the director of Radio Amplitude, was kidnapped on January 17. His body was found four days later, on January 21.
“’His body was found in (a state of) advanced decomposition and visibly tortured” in an area called Ebogo 3, in central Cameroon, Paul Chouta, a journalist with the online newspaper TGV de l’Info, told IPI.
Radio Amplitude is a privately owned media house based in Yaounde, the capital city of Cameroon. Zogo, who also hosted the program ‘’Ambouteillage’’, was well-known for his reporting on critical issues.
SYNAJIC, a trade union of independent journalists of Cameroon, had previously condemned Zogo’s kidnapping and demanded authorities quickly investigate the incident and ensure his safety. Cameroonian authorities later published a statement saying it had given instructions to investigate the kidnapping, only for Zogo’s body to be found a few days later with signs of torture.
“We are shocked and horrified by the kidnapping and brutal killing of journalist Martinez Zogo in Cameroon”, IPI Director of Advocacy Amy Brouillette said. “The Cameroonian authorities have an obligation to swiftly and thoroughly investigate this crime Authorities must determine who was responsible, what their motive was, and bring them to justice.”
She added: “In addition to fully investigating Zogo’s murder and securing justice, the Cameroonian government must put all necessary measures in place to ensure that critical journalists are safe and protected and able to carry out their work.”
Zogo’s murder worsens the already troubled press freedom situation in the country, and threatens to instill fear and a culture of silence and self-censorship on critical issues of society and politics among media houses. This situation will deteriorate further if authorities fail to resolve the killing and hold the culprits accountable.