Media practitioners have been urged to shun descriminatory and hate speech as the country prepares to organise three crucial elections later this year.

During a four-day workshop to sensitize media practitioners on their role in promoting free speech through best practices, they were urged to use the media to advancing human rights and peace so as to build a democratic society.

The workshop jointly organised by the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, UNCHRD-CA and the National Communication Council, brings together media professionals, social media influencers and bloggers and seeks to promote professionalism in the practice.

On the eve of crucial elections in Cameroon, there is a high risk for the propagation of hate speech which could be amplified by the media, the representative of  head of the UNCHRD-CA  Firmin Sindaye said while citing examples from the Rwandan genocide.

It is is a bid to avoid such human tragedy that the partners are taking time to reinforce the capacities of the media practitioners so as to build a democratic society where people’s freedoms can be respected.

On his part, the first Vice President of the National Communication Council Mvoto Obounou lamented the fact the media is increasingly becoming a heavy relay of hate speeech as a result of its partisan nature especially since last October 7 Presidential election.

It is in this light that the workshop will sensitise the media professionals on their role i preaching reconciliation and social cohesion with respect to international norms that guide human rights.