Conviction of Ahmed Abba last week for “non-denunciation of terrorism” and “laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts” ends with a sentence of 10 years in jail by a military court in Cameroon on April 24, Monday.
Abba is a reporter for Radio France International (RFI) who has been held in detention for 635 days pending judgment by the Cameroonian military court will make an appeal on the sentence made within the allowable 10 days period according to his lawyer, Clement Nakong.
In the first place, according to CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal, Ahmed Abba should not have been detained, put on trial, and convicted; much more to be behind bars for 10 years.
Further, Quintal said that the despicable sentence is a sign that the Cameroon authorities are willing to go to the extent of intimidating the media and halt in its tracks freedom of the press.
Cameroon President Paul Biya has faced international reproach for supposedly human rights violations in the previous months, including during the containment of protests in the two western Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
Organisers together with some participants of those rallies are at present on trial charged under similar anti-terrorism law used on Ahmed Abba.