Freedom of Expression: Workshop To Evaluate Challenges

Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella says freedom of expression has to be exercised with respect of the laws and regulations in force with the goal of preserving general interest. He further stated that there are no rights without responsibilities. He spoke in Yaounde on April 29, 2019 as he officially opened the fourth training session on international law and human rights taking place at the Yaounde International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) from April 29, 2019 to May 4, 2019.

The training session is on the theme, “Freedom of expression and international law on human rights.” The training session is jointly organised by the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, Fondation René Cassin and the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC). Minister Mbella Mbella opened the training session in the presence of the Minister of State, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Laurent Esso, some cabinet ministers and other officials. He situated the context of the training session for Cameroon that is currently fa cing some security, political and social challenges.

He said Cameroon will not tolerate any disorder. Internet and social media facilitate communication but the Minister regretted that their abuse and violation in the name of freedom of expression was dangerous to society. He said a democratic State is a State of law and added that freedom of expression has to be exercised in respect of the funda mental laws of the land. The Director of IRIC, Salomon Eheth, while welcoming the officials and participants said the training should lead to moral rearmament and strengthened patriotism.

He also said the training was a vector of the transmission of human and democratic values, stating that wrongly exercised freedom of expression was dangerous in society. Other speakers during the opening ceremony agreed that freedom of expression was often violated in many countries with the arbitrary arrest, torture, intimidation of media practitioners featuring prominently. They stressed on the responsibility to protect the professionals who strife to respect their ethics. Fake news, calls for hatred and other divisive information broadcast over the internet and social media were castigated.

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