Dans son communiqué du 03 mai 2020 , l’Ambassade des Etats-Unis à Yaoundé est monté au créneau à l’occasion de la Journée Mondiale de la Liberté de la Presse.

L’Ambassade des Etats-Unis est préoccupée par la situation de nombreux journalistes et professionnels des médias au Cameroun. Ces derniers sont victimes de menaces, d’actes de coercition financière, d’arrestations et d’enlèvements, dans un contexte marqué par la recrudescence de la désinformation. D’après la Mission Diplomatique Américaine basée à Yaoundé, l’existence d’organes de presse indépendants est indispensable à la bonne marche de toute démocratie.

Malheureusement, dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions, des journalistes continuent de faire face à de nombreux obstacles. Les Etats-Unis honorent le rôle essentiel des journalistes dans la démocratie. Washington honore les journalistes qui consacrent leur vie à la promotion de la transparence, de l’inclusion des populations défavorisées, et de la capacité de tenir les gouvernements responsables de leurs actes. Avant même l’entrée en vigueur de la Constitution en 1789, les protagonistes de la Révolution Américaine étaient profondément convaincus que la liberté de chaque individu ne pouvait exister sans une presse libre.

Ainsi, l‘auteur de la Déclaration d’Indépendance, Thomas Jefferson, a déclaré : « Notre liberté dépend de la liberté de la presse. » Dès lors, il semble logique que le premier amendement à la Constitution américaine énonce que « le Congrès ne fera aucune loi (…) qui restreigne la liberté de la parole ou de la presse ». Les décisions rendues par la Cour Suprême des Etats-Unis illustrent bien ce grand principe et rappellent que la Constitution, qui garantit la liberté de la presse, prime sur la loi.

Dès 1931, dans l’affaire Near v. State of Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U.S. 697, 51 S.Ct. 625, 75 L.Ed. 1357, (1931), la Cour Suprême étend la protection de la presse. En effet, jusqu’alors la liberté de la presse n’était protégée qu’au niveau fédéral. A partir de cet arrêt, chaque Etat a le droit d’adopter ses propres lois sur le sujet, offrant ainsi à la liberté de la presse un degré de protection local et donc plus efficace. Cet arrêt qui fait date, interdit aussi la plupart des formes de restriction de la liberté de la presse.

Au cours des dix dernières années, la Cour Suprême s’est fondée sur le premier amendement à la Constitution des Etats-Unis d’Amérique pour déclarer anticonstitutionnels une vingtaine de lois fédérales. Force est de constater que le premier amendement garantissant la liberté de presse semble inébranlable, intouchable.

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