Popular Cameroon Journalist Found Dead After Abduction

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Zogo was abducted last week after saying he could be killed for doing an investigation into corruption cases among government officials.

The mutilated body of a prominent Cameroonian journalist was found on Sunday near the capital Yaounde five days after he was abducted by unidentified assailants, the press union and a colleague said on Sunday.

Martinez Zogo was managing director of Yaounde-based private radio station Amplitude FM and the star host of a popular daily program, Embouteillage (Gridlock).

On the air, the 51-year-old regularly tackled cases of corruption, not hesitating to question important personalities by name. Zogo served a two-month prison sentence for criminal defamation in 2020, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported.

Zogo had been talking on air recently about a case of alleged embezzlement involving a media outlet with government connections, RSF said.

Zogo’s colleague Charlie Amie Tchouemou, the editor-in-chief of Amplitude FM, confirmed Zogo’s abduction and death. The police and the government did not respond to calls for comment.

The incident is the latest in a string of attacks against journalists in Cameroon, which is ruled by President Paul Biya, who has a decades-long record of repressing opposition.

The country is one of many across the continent, from Burkina Faso to Ethiopia to Equatorial Guinea, where journalists complain that media freedoms are under threat from authoritarian governments.

“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,” RSF says in its Cameroon country profile.

A Radio France Internationale reporter, Ahmed Abba, was arrested in July 2015 and imprisoned for two years on terrorism charges that rights groups denounced as a sham. Paul Chouta, a reporter who worked for the private news website Cameroon Web, was beaten and stabbed by unknown attackers in 2019.