Saturday, March 7, 2020

Kousseri mayor and accomplices allegedly beat up journalist

The National Union of Journalists of Cameroon "strongly condemns" the act perpetrated by the municipal council against the representative of the newspaper Free Forum, Abani Karim Abaicho.

Our colleague Abani Karim Abaicho has come a long way. The journalist of the weekly forum Libre could indeed have passed from life to death on Wednesday March 4, 2020. The president of the National Union of Journalists of Cameroon (SNJC), Denis Nkwebo, reports in a statement published the same day that he was attacked both by the mayor of Kousséri, Issa Darkadre, and his supporters. 

“On Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 11 am, Abani Karim Abaicho, Reporter, project manager at the Weekly Forum Libre and member of the SNJC went to the Kousseri court of first instance for media coverage of the delivery hearing oath of the newly elected mayors of the Logone et Chari department. While the hearing had not yet started, the reporter approached Mr. Abgassi Adoumu, mayor of Makary to take his impressions. While they were calmly exchanging, Mr. Issa Darkadre, mayor of Kousseri, will accost the journalist by uttering threats in these terms: "It is you who writes against me everywhere in the press, I will show you that no one not have fun with me ... "joining gestures to words, the municipal magistrate is going to physically assault our colleague to the point of dragging him out of the courtroom to deliver him to the popular retribution of his supporters. The reporter was saved only thanks to the intervention of the gendarmes present on the spot, ”one reads in the story of the SNJC. 

The journalist will subsequently be heard at the Kousseri gendarmerie brigade where he gave his testimony. He will then go to the regional annex hospital in Kousseri for medical treatment. He was later found at the public prosecutor's office in the company of one of his many attackers. He will be released after his hearing with the public prosecutor of Kousséri.

In response, the National Union of Journalists of Cameroon "strongly condemns this behavior of Mr. Issa Darkadre, mayor of Kousseri, which reminds us of a period that we believe is over". He recalls that Abani Karim Abaicho is a journalist, and was in the Kousseri court of first instance in the professional context. His presence being motivated only by the profession of journalist and the obligation to respect the guaranteed "Right of the public to Information", recalls the SNJC, "by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an integral part of the Constitution of our country ”. 

The Syndicate "wishes to thank the elements of the gendarmerie who extracted our confere from the vengeance of the mayors, pays tribute to the judicial authorities of the city of Kousseri for their diligence". He "decides to inform national and international opinion of this act of physical aggression committed by the mayor of Kousseri Issa Darkadre on our colleague Abani Karim Abaicho" and reiterates that the field remains the main source of information for the journalist and his presence in this place is an imperative from which it cannot escape.