National Unity: Government Cracks-down on Hate Speech

People who use hate speech across social media platforms and on mainstream media have been reminded of the repercussions of their actions and the commensurate sanctions that may follow them.

The Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji laid out the damaging effects of the growing phenomenon of hate speech to the country in a release dated Monday, May 22, 2023.

His release comes days after a joint press conference with the Minister of Communication and the Chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism on the issue.

Minister Paul Atanga Nji on Hate Speech

The Territorial Administration Minister was very clear on the release that hate speech, xenophobia, unprecedented tribalism and stigmatisation of some ethnic groups or components of society are now rampant on both mainstream and social media.

He reiterated that these grevious acts of verbal misconduct are a danger to “living together” and social cohesion which are dear to the nation.

Legal Repercussion for Hate Speech Propagators

Any guilty of propagating Hate speech through any media will henceforth face the legal sanctions provided by law, followimg the reminder from the Minister of Territorial Administration in the release.

He outlined some of the provisions related to hate speech crimes from the penal code.

He quoted, Section 241-1 (new) that states that;
“whoever by any means makes hate speech against people or incites them to violence due to their tribal or ethnic origin shall be punished with imprisonment from one to two years and with fine of FCFA 300,000 to three million francs.”

He continued by insisting that the sanctions will be doubled for a civil servant, a leader of a political party, media, non governmental organizations or religious institutions.

Paul Atanga Nji said the same shall apply for people who go through social media to propagate hate speech and tribalism.

The release talks of the readiness of administrative authorities to shutdown media houses who use their platforms to promote devious communications such as hate speech.

The Minister of Territorial Administration ended his release by reminding Cameroonians of the core importance of mutual coexistence as prescribed by the Head of State Paul Biya.

Bruno Ndonwie Funwie

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