Maxime Eko Eko (left), the former head of the DGRE counterintelligence agency, and Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga, a businessman and head of the L’Anecdote media group, are among 17 suspects set to stand trial in a murder and torture case, documents from which revealed that journalist Martinez Zogo was targeted for surveillance. (Screenshot: YouTube/STV Cameroon)

Court documents allege Cameroon counterintelligence spied on murdered journalist Martinez Zogo

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CPJ is calling on Cameroonian authorities to disclose which journalists—in addition to murdered journalist Martinez Zogo—have been targeted for surveillance by the country’s counterintelligence service and ensure that spying on members of the media is immediately discontinued.

The existence of a surveillance operation that allegedly spied on Zogo since at least 2015 was disclosed in a 20-page trial referral document reviewed by CPJ. 

The document was part of a judicial investigation into the January 2023 kidnapping, torture, and murder of the popular radio host, which was finalized on February 29, 2024.

“The revelation that a surveillance operation targeted popular radio host Martinez Zogo since at least 2015 raises concerns about which other journalists have been surveilled by Cameroon’s counterintelligence agency,” said Angela Quintal, head of CPJ’s Africa program in New York. 

Read more about this development in Cameroon.

Global press freedom updates 

  • CPJ, partners urge Germany’s Scholz to press Philippine leader on Gerry Ortega’s killing during visit
  • Armed men harass, threaten to shoot two reporters covering land dispute in Philippines
  • Ethiopian journalist Muhiyadin Mohamed Abdullahi faces up to 5 years in prison on false news charges
  • Mozambican authorities accuse journalists of colluding with ‘terrorists’
  • Nigerian police detain, assault journalist Kasarahchi Aniagolu
  • Russia holding Crimean journalists Rustem Osmanov and Aziz Azizov for 2 months on terror charges
  • Azerbaijani police raid Toplum TV, detain journalists over alleged currency smuggling
  • CPJ welcomes Kyrgyzstan’s withdrawal of restrictive media bill
  • New EU media law must bolster press freedom, CPJ and partners say
  • CPJ, media leaders demand UK police act on online abuse of women journalists


Last week, CPJ announced a new partnership with global media publisher Condé Nast to help promote journalist freedom and safety.

As part of the partnership, Condé Nast will help raise awareness and funds for CPJ by using its platforms—including the Vanity Fair Oscar Party held last Sunday—and provide creative and advertising support linked to World Press Freedom Day.

“Condé Nast is a world-renowned publisher with an over 100-year history of producing powerful journalism, from Vogue’s coverage of World War II through the eyes of celebrated photographer Lee Miller, to Vanity Fair’s exposé of the tobacco industry in the 1990s, to The New Yorker’s Emmy Award-winning virtual reality documentary on China’s ‘re-education camps.’ I am delighted to be partnering with them in what is a pivotal moment for journalists and journalism,” said CPJ CEO Jodie Ginsberg.

Read more about our new partnership with Condé Nast. 

Separately, CPJ welcomed three newsroom and human rights leaders to its board of directors this week: Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, Graciela Mochkofsky, dean at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, and Julie Owono, executive director of Internet Sans Frontières.

“I am proud to welcome three eminent leaders with trailblazing careers in journalism, strategic litigation, and freedom of expression as new board members,” said CPJ Chair Jacob Weisberg. “Their experience and unwavering commitment to press freedom and journalist safety worldwide will prove to be a tremendous asset to CPJ and, in turn, the journalists we serve.”

Read more about new board members. 

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