Popular radio journalist discovered dead in Cameroon after being kidnapped

Popular radio journalist discovered dead in Cameroon after being kidnapped

Sunday, his employer and police confirmed that a prominent Cameroonian radio journalist who had been missing since what a media rights group termed a kidnapping had been found dead.

 

On-air, the 51-year-old frequently addressed instances of corruption and did not hesitate to criticize prominent figures by name. In 2020, Zogo served a two-month prison term for criminal defamation, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

He was reported missing on Tuesday.

“This morning I traveled 15 kilometers north of Yaounde to Ebogo, where I observed and identified the body of Martinez Zogo. The deputy prosecutor was present, and his wife was present to identify him “Chief editor of Amplitude FM radio, Charly Tchouemou, told AFP.

A police source who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed Zogo’s death to the AFP.

A member of the victim’s family told AFP on condition of anonymity that a large crowd gathered as Zogo’s body was transported to the mortuary of Yaounde’s central hospital for an autopsy.

Following his disappearance, social media was flooded with posts, with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) decrying “the brutal abduction of a journalist.”

Tuesday, according to RSF, Zogo’s severely damaged vehicle was discovered in front of a police station in a Yaounde suburb.

Sadibou Marong, the head of RSF’s sub-Saharan Africa branch, told AFP, “There are many grey areas regarding the circumstances of his brutal abduction,”

“The authorities must launch a rigorous, thorough and independent investigation to establish the full chain of responsibility and the circumstances that led to this sad event,” said Marong.

The national journalists’ organization of Cameroon denounced a “heinous assassination” and advised members of the media to wear black on January 25 as a show of mourning.

In its Cameroon country profile, RSF states, “Although Cameroon has one of the richest media landscapes in Africa, it is one of the continent’s most dangerous countries for journalists, who operate in a hostile and precarious environment,”

The International Press Institute, a press freedom organization located in Vienna, encouraged Cameroonian authorities to “promptly investigate the horrific murder and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice”

The political opposition was likewise outraged, with Social Democratic Front (SDF) delegate Jean-Michel Nintcheu describing the incident as a “crime which cannot go unpunished.”

On Sunday, a number of Cameroonian television stations devoted their programming to Zogo’s passing.

Calixthe Beyala, a Cameroonian-French writer, described herself as “dejected, saddened” upon hearing of his death.

“I knew he was dead as soon as it was announced that he was kidnapped,” she told Info TV.

“We may ask ourselves, whose turn is it? We can all find ourselves in this scenario due to something we may have said.”

The number of journalists and other media workers murdered increased by 50 percent in 2022, with an average of one journalist killed every four days, according to new United Nations data.

“These journalists were killed for a variety of reasons, including reprisals for reporting on organized crime, armed conflict or the rise of extremism, and covering sensitive subjects such as corruption, environmental crimes, abuse of power, and protests,” UNESCO said in a statement.

 

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