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Cameroon’s state-owned broadcaster accuses CNN of lying - using false image as proof

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In a tweet, Cameroon’s national broadcaster berated international news channel CNN for “brainwashing” people.

As proof, CRTV supplied a still from one of CNN’s shows in which the text on the chyron reads: “Sources say lawyers are being brutalized in Cameroon [-] orders from the president”.

CRTV tagged Cameroon’s president Paul Biya, who has ruled over this Central African country since 1982, saying that Bia “did not direct the protests in Cameroon. This is not information; it’s brainwashing. Your sources: manipulation.”

English-speaking lawyers on strike

The subject of this tweet is a longstanding dispute between Cameroon’s English-speaking lawyers, who follow English common law inherited from British rule, and the country’s government.

In its most recent declaration, the lawyers claimed that there is a “deliberate and well planned program of whittling away” the common law system in favour of French-inspired civil law. (Note: Cameroon is a bilingual and bi-jural country.)  

With their demands for two chambers of the Supreme Court of Cameroon not met, among others, the lawyers went on strike last month. During a protest march last week, the police reportedly tear gassed and beat the lawyers.

Image from interview about US electoral college

The tweeted image is undoubtedly false. Here is the proof:

  1. The chyron does not follow CNN’s style. The font is too small and the text is not properly centred.

  1. CNN has only published two news stories on Cameroon in the last week - none of them covering the lawyers’ strike.

  1. Africa Check traced the still to a clip from Michael Smerconish’s show that is broadcast every Saturday on CNN at 3 pm West Africa Time. In the insert, Smerconish interviewed a Stanford professor and they discussed the US electoral college system - not Cameroon.

Africa Check asked the publicist for Smerconish's programme, Pamela Gomez, for comment. We will update this report when we receive a reply. - 15/11/2016

UPDATE: The tweet has since been taken down.

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