Radio Bonakanda, a community radio station based in Buea, South West region of Cameroon was attacked by unknown gunmen at around 10 pm on Tuesday, 3 September and set ablazed.
The radio presenter on duty at the time of the attack, Mary Namondo, was abducted by the gunmen and is yet to be released.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the kidnap of Mary Namondo.
The General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Anthony Bellanger, condemned the attack on the community radio station. “This attack of the radio and abduction of Mary Namondo is unwarranted, mindless and unacceptable. Journalists must be allowed to do their work without fear or intimidation. The reoccurring attacks on journalists in Cameroon stifles press freedom and at times force journalists into self- censorship for fear of reprisals which weakens democracy. Such attacks must be condemned in the strongest terms possible by all and sundry. We demand Mary’s immediate release”
Denis Nkwebo, President of the Syndicat National des Journalistes du Cameroon (SNJC), an IFJ affiliate, said that the attack on Radio Bonakanda “is not only an attack on freedom of speech and of the press but also on the public’s right to information.” He called on those responsible for the attack and the abduction of Mary Namonodo to release her with immediate effect.
The IFJ also urged the Government of Cameroon to do everything to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Mary Nomondo. “It is the responsibility of the Government to protect the lives and property of its citizens. The willful destruction of property and threats to people’s lives is unacceptable. Government must therefore do more to guarantee the safety and security of journalists and all its citizens.”
For more Information, please contact the IFJ – Africa Office
1st Floor, Maison de la Presse, 5 Rue X Corniche, Medina,
BP 64257, Dakar, Senegal
Tel: +221- 33 867 95 86/87; Fax: +221- 33 827 02