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Cameroon Parliament tables hate speech bill: A law to enhance national peace and security?

A bill to punish hate speech and tribalism has recently been presented at the National Assembly in a bid to consolidate peace and security nationwide and put a stop to the crisis.

Hate speech is any language, write up, word declaration, research work or conversation that are intented to hurt a person or a group of people on the basis of origin, race, nationality, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

The bill will punish all acts of hate speech and tribalism through the amendments of Section 241 of the Penal code.

This bills comes to supplement certain provisions of the law of July 12, 2016 of the Cameroon Penal code.

The bill was defended by the Minister of Justice, Mr. Laurent Esso.

According to Prof. Eric Ngolle Ngolle, hate speech destroys the togetherness of a country.

“Hate speech kills the unity, patriotism, destroys national concord, state of peace and happiness, creates social conflicts, destroys diversity among people ” the political scientist said.

The bill comes after several months of observation on the issue of hate speech and tribalism on social media networks.

Over the years, a number of cases have been recorded on hate speech and tribalism.

A case is that of the South West Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilia, who constantly addresses his subjects as ‘dogs ‘ and several other similar instances on social media.

Perpetrators of the act will be given a sentence ranging from 6 to 6months in prison or a fine of 500,000 FCFA.

For a better Cameroon, the bill does not leave out holders of public offices, members of media, political parties, NGO’s and religious institutions.

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