The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the recent assault on newspaper journalist Louis Blaise Ongolo by police on patrol in Douala.
On 8 October, Ongolo, a reporter with the newspaper La Nouvelle Expression, was badly beaten by five police officers because he complained that they were speaking to him in a disrespectful manner.
“We condemn this assault, which shows again how some Cameroonian police and military forces don’t respect the basic rights of the people,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Office Director. “We urge the government to investigate this case and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
The officers beat Ongolo with their boots and belts. Then, despite the fact that he was bleeding, he was detained along with other people in a car patrolling in the city. He was later released with injuries to his right hand and other parts of his body.
“We are very worried about this continuing kind of attitude in Douala by the agents of the state forces towards the journalists,” said Jean Marc Soboth, Secretary General of the Cameroon Journalists' Trade Union (CJTU). Soboth added that journalists working late have also been attacked by gangsters.
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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries