VOA | Police have arrested several people “strongly suspected” of involvement in the kidnap, torture and killing of a popular radio journalist, Cameroon’s presidency announced.
Martinez Zogo, 50, who spoke out against embezzlement and cronyism in the central African nation, was abducted on January 17 outside a police station in the suburbs of the capital, Yaounde.
His heavily mutilated corpse was found five days later.
President Paul Biya, who has ruled Cameroon with an iron fist for more than 40 years, called for a combined police and gendarme probe into the murder.
“The investigations… have enabled the arrest of several people whose involvement in this odious crime is strongly suspected,” minister of state and presidency general secretary Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh said on Thursday.
A search was still underway for other suspects, his statement said.
About 20 prominent Cameroonian personalities wrote in French newspaper Le Monde Thursday of their “great concern in the face of the violent turn in public debate” in the country.
The signatories, who included the writer Calixthe Beyala and intellectual Achille Mbembe, noted a “long tradition of trivializing impunity and accepting atrocities.”
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has described the killing as “a serious blow for democracy and freedom of the press.”
RSF’s Press Freedom Index ranks Cameroon 118 out of 180 countries, where 1 signals the best environment for media.
The government has insisted Cameroon is “a state of law, where liberty is guaranteed, including the freedom of the press.”