Jailing of Cameroonian journalist Abba 'outrageous'

2017-04-26 20:33
Ahmed Abba (Picture: Supplied)

Ahmed Abba (Picture: Supplied)

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Cape Town – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has described the 10-year sentence of a Cameroonian journalist Ahmed Abba on terrorism-related charges as "outrageous," says a report.

According to BBC, Clea Kahn-Sriber from RSF said that Abba, who works for the Hausa Service of Radio France Internationale, had been given an "utterly disproportionate sentence, although the prosecution produced no hard evidence".

"This is a clearly political decision designed to scare all journalists, especially those who might try to cover the security situation in northern Cameroon," Kahn-Sriber was quoted as saying.

Abba was arrested in 2015 over his coverage of attacks by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in northern Cameroon. 

After nearly two years, a military court convicted him of non-denunciation of terrorism and laundering the proceeds of terrorist acts, reports said on Monday.

Cameroon has remained in a protracted battle with Boko Haram since 2014, when the fighters began attacking the government.

Detained for four days

Reports have claimed that Abba and a lot of other journalists were the victims of Cameroon's "war on terror". 

According to News24, three other journalists – Baba Wame, Rodrigue Tongue, and Félix Cyriaque Ebolé Bola – who were arrested in 2014, are also being prosecuted in a military tribunal for failing to disclose information and sources to the government.

The trio were investigating allegations that security forces were assisting an armed group from the Central African Republic which is destabilising Cameroon’s eastern region.

In August 2015, Simon Ateba, a freelance Nigeria-based Cameroonian journalist, was arrested and detained for four days on accusations of espionage, over his investigations into the abysmal conditions of refugees in the far north region.

In April 2014, Denis Nkwebo, the president of Cameroon’s press union, had his car bombed. Nkwebo has received repeated threats for his reporting on Cameroon’s security forces. 

Read more on:    boko haram  |  cameroon  |  west africa

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