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CPJ demands release of Bamenda based radio Journalist

The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, has exhorted Cameroon military court to immediately release broadcaster Akumbom Elvis McCarthy from detention. Going…

The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, has exhorted Cameroon military court to immediately release broadcaster Akumbom Elvis McCarthy from detention.

Going by CPJ’s sources, Cameroon’s military tribunal on April 10 ordered that McCarthy, a news broadcaster for Abakwa FM Radio, a privately owned broadcaster based in Cameroon’s Bamenda region, be remanded in custody for a renewable six-month period while police investigate claims that the journalist aired secessionist propaganda.

Reports say, the police on March 20 arrested McCarthy while he filmed police allegedly harassing taxi drivers and commuters in Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest region.

The CPJ’s report also states that Akumbom Elvis McCarthy was detained in Bamenda by judicial police for three weeks before appearing briefly at the military tribunal on charges of attempted secession and disseminating secessionist propaganda on air.

It is against this backdrop that CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal, condemned McCarthy’s arrest. “McCarthy should not have been arrested in the first place and should be immediately released without charge. We condemn Cameroon’s use of a military tribunal to prosecute a civilian, which is in violation of international law”, Quintaal said.

In September last year, CPJ published “Journalists not Terrorists: In Cameroon, anti-terror legislation is used to silence critics and suppress dissent,” a special report that documented how journalists in the country faced reprisal for their reporting.
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