By Beltha Mokube – Monday March 18, 2019.
Cameroon, a Central African country has once again featured on the spotlight for nothing good to the already corroded image of a onetime peaceful country that according to pundits, is being despoiled by Paul Biya, 86, Cameroon’s President since 1982.
Forbes, a well known Magazine has highlighted someone in Cameroon but at the detriment of the government of Paul Biya. In the inaugural 10 Most Urgent list, it highlights some of the world’s journalists currently most endangered — truth-tellers in jail, under threat or even no longer living, killed and denied justice for trying to inform the public, Cameroon features.
The initiative which is of The One Free Press Coalition began a few weeks ago at a dinner at the International Media Council at the World Economic Forum. The coalition of more than a dozen global news organizations. Yahoo News, HuffPost, The Associated Press, The Financial Times, Reuters among others announced Friday March 15, 2019 in New York, USA, it would spotlight the world’s most threatened journalists in a new freedom of speech initiative and publish on their platforms each month a “10 Most Urgent” list of journalists who have been jailed, threatened or attacked for their work.
Randall Lane, a Forbes Magazine reporter said, as media leaders from around the world described appalling crackdowns in markets where journalists have little defense, I made a suggestion — what if those of us present banded together to support those under pressure? Specifically, shine a collective light on those threatened for trying to report the truth.
Following this initiative, a Cameroonian Journalist who’s dying in Kondengui, a detention facility in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde, featured in the list. Forbes Magazine and other media organs put Thomas Awah Junior on the ninth (9th) position among other Journalists. They describe Thomas as jailed on anti-state and false news charges.
They added that Thomas Awah Junior, a correspondent for privately owned Afrik 2 Radio and publisher of Aghem Messenger monthly magazine, was arrested while interviewing protesters and is serving an 11-year sentence in Cameroon on anti-state and false news charges.
The report also suggests that The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has written to President Paul Biya requesting that he be released on humanitarian grounds. However, as we write, Thomas Awah is being dying in jail and is being blocked from medical acre.
All told, the coalition has an audience reach of over a billion people, and we’ve committed to publish and promote the 10 Most Urgent list every single month. That should hopefully give all press oppressors and thug autocrats pause — the world is watching, and we’re not going to let them get away with it, Randall Lane said.
The other Journalists include; Maria and Rappler (Philippines), Jamal Khashoggi (Saudi Arabia), Eman Al Nafjan (Saudi Arabia), Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo (Myanmar), Claudia Duque (Colombia), Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed (Mauritania), Anna Nimiriano (South Sudan), Pelin Unker (Turkey) and Tran Thi Nga (Vietnam).