Make media freedom a priority in Gabon, urges CJA

The CJA International Executive Committee has urged the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland to intervene directly, and work with African partners, to prioritise the safety of working journalists in Gabon, following the military coup which saw General Brice Oligui Nguema, pictured, seize power.

“The restoration of public Internet access and service from numerous mainstream French broadcasters is a positive sign but we are also aware that repression and intimidation of journalists has been part of the ugly aftermath of military coups in many other Commonwealth countries.,” it said in a statement.

“The CJA also joins the Committee to Protect Journalists and other news media associations in directly urging the new military authorities in Gabon to allow working journalists to report on matters of public interest.

“The ability to work freely without fear of harm is the right of all journalists, especially those tasked with covering affairs of state.

“While the overthrown regime was far from an advertisement for Commonwealth values, or media freedom, there should be no compromise on either until this military dictatorship fulfills its pledge to restore free and fair elections and works towards creating a genuine democracy.”