Cameroon journalists are calling for an investigation and say their profession is in danger after a popular radio host investigating government corruption was found dead.
On his radio program two weeks ago, Cameroonian journalist Martinez Zogo said he had information that people involved in corruption wanted him dead.
Then, on January 17, Zogo, the director of the urban radio station Amplitude FM, was abducted, prompting fears for his safety.
On Sunday, Zogo’s body was found. Government spokesperson Rene Emmanuel Sadi said that it showed signs of torture and that the killing was “barbaric, unacceptable and despicable.”
Zogo was known in the capital, Yaoundé, for his high-profile program, “Traffic Jam,” which broadcast in English.
Friends, colleagues and fans created a shrine in his honor outside his workplace.
“There is a feeling of shame. Why in Cameroon?” Haman Mana of the Federation of Press Editors of Cameroon said in French. “We are confused, but I would like us all to keep our sanity because those who did it are simply not human.”
Samuel Bondjock of the National Union of Journalists of Cameroon said his organization will always denounce this crime and its infringement on press freedom.
Journalists operating in Cameroon said Zogo’s killing is part of an effort by the authoritarian government of President Paul Biya to intimidate the press corps.
“Through the barbarity of the assassination of Martinez Zogo,” Naja TV General Manager Jean-Bruno Tagne said in French, “it is a message of fear that they want to instigate among journalists and in the circles of all those who have decided not to remain silent in the face of the crime that we observe in this country.”
Government spokesman Sadi said the investigation into the killing was ongoing, and he promised the killers would be brought to justice.
While Cameroon has a thriving media market, the group Reporters Without Borders says it is a “hostile and precarious environment” for journalists.