IFJ Condemns Kidnapping Attack on Female Journalist in Cameroon

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the recent attack on Cameroonian radio presenter Agnès Tailé, who was brutally assaulted by unknown men in Douala, and continuing threats against the journalist who has taken over her show.

On the night of November 7, 2006, Tailé, who presents the interactive programme A vous la parole (You have the say) on the radio station Sweet Fm, was attacked by three hooded men who abducted her from her home in the Kotto district in Douala at around 3:00 am. The men beat her and abandoned her near a ravine. Tailé’s injuries are not life threatening but because the attackers attempted to strangle her she is still not able to speak.

Alexandre Lembé, editor-in-chief of the radio station, has taken over presenting duties on the show. He told the IFJ that he is now receiving threats from unidentified callers. The callers have not revealed their reasons for sending the threats or for the attack on Tailé.

“We condemn this cowardly attack on our colleague Agnes,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. “We wish her a speedy recovery and we are calling on the government of Cameroon to conduct an urgent investigation into this case and bring to justice the perpetrators of this brutal act of intimidation.”

Ten days before the attack, Tailé received anonymous calls and text messages, threatening her with violence if she did not stop speaking on her programme. The programme features open debates on various subjects such as politics, society, culture and sports.

The Cameroon Journalists' Trade Union (CJTU) has called on Cameroonian media owners to implement better safety measures and offer medical and other types of insurance to their employees.

“We call on our colleagues, the Cameroonian authorities and the international community to put an end to attacks on journalists, which have increased significantly in recent months in the country,” said Jean Marc Soboth, First Secretary-General of the CJTU.

For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries