Five days after being kidnapped by unknown assailants, the body of a well-known Cameroonian journalist Martinez Zogo was found on Sunday close to the capital Yaounde, according to the press union and a colleague.
Media advocates said the death and disappearance of Zogo as another example of the risks associated with reporting in the African nation.
According to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, Zogo, the director of the for-profit radio station Amplitude FM, was abducted on January 17 by unidentified assailants after attempting to flee his attackers by going into a police station.
RSF reported that Zogo had lately discussed an alleged embezzlement issue involving a media outlet with connections to the government on broadcast.
“Cameroonian media has just lost one of its members, a victim of hatred and barbarism,” Cameroon’s journalists’ trade union said in a statement. “Where is the freedom of the press, freedom of opinion and freedom of expression in Cameroon when working in the media now entails a mortal risk?”
The editor-in-chief of Amplitude FM, Charlie Amie Tchouemou, who was Zogo’s colleague, verified both his death and his kidnapping.
The incident is the most recent in a succession of assaults against journalists in Cameroon, a country with a thriving press and a president with a long history of suppressing opposition.
Journalists across the continent have expressed concern that authoritarian governments are threatening media liberties in a number of nations, including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Equatorial Guinea.
“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.