Ahmed Abba, a Radio France International journalist is reported to be at risk of facing death penalty after being convicted in Cameroon by a military court.
Accordingly, Ahmed Abba is set to be sentenced on charges of “non-denunciation of terrorism” and “laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts” on April 24, Monday.
His lawyer, Clement Nakong, and the RFI; Abba was charged for his news on the Nigerian revolutionary group Boko Haram.
The RFI and his lawyer informed the Committee to Protect Journalists that Abba has been in detention by the Cameroonian military since July 2015 and that they will appeal the conviction.
Apparently, RFI has since talked to Cameroonian authorities to free their journalist and that the military court had actually acquitted Abba of a lesser accusation of “apologizing for acts of terrorism”.
On the other hand, the deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Robert Mahoney, has depicted the conviction as indignation and that journalism should not be equaled to committing acts of terror.
Mahoney in a press release said that the military court’s conviction of Abba, a Cameroonian radio journalist, on terrorism accusations which could lead to death penalty is outrageous and that reporters covering terrorism should not be construed as act of terror. Day by day that Abba stays behind bars is a mockery of justice.
The contentious anti –terrorism law of 2014 brought back death penalty, although according to Amnesty International, Cameroon has not carried out any execution since 1997.
The government of Cameroon has been in serious battle with Boko Haram since 2014 when the rebel group started attacking the government.
It was reported that Abba and the other news reporters were victims of Cameroon’s war against terrorists. Some suspected journalists to be part of the terrorist group are receiving threats and prosecutions for reporting on the activities of the said rebel group.