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Cameroonian journalist jailed over Boko Haram links to be freed

A Cameroonian journalist jailed for over two years for contact with Islamist militant group Boko Haram is set to be freed after a court on Thursday shortened his sentence, his lawyer said.

Ahmed Abba
Radio France Internationale reporter Ahmed Abba was arrested in July 2015 and sentenced in April this year to 10 years on terrorism charges that rights groups denounced as a sham.

Authorities said they found evidence on Abba’s computer of attacks planned by Boko Haram, whose Islamist insurgency in Nigeria, Cameroon and neighbouring countries has cost the lives of at least 20,000 people since 2009.

Technically, Mr. Ahmed can be outside today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Abba has denied knowledge of attacks and protested his innocence.

The sentence was reduced to two years on Thursday when an appeals court dropped the terrorism charges but upheld less serious charges of “non-denunciation” of terrorism.

“Technically, Mr. Ahmed can be outside today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” given that he has already been in jail for over two years, his lawyer Charles Tchoungang told Reuters.

Abba’s forthcoming release comes amid a crackdown on dissent by President Paul Biya who is seeking to extend his 35-year rule in elections next year. The government is confronting a growing separatist insurgency in the country’s Anglophone regions as well as the threat from Boko Haram.

Patrice Nganang, a prize-winning Cameroonian author who lives in New York, was arrested during a visit to Cameroon this month for writing a Facebook post critical of Biya. Nganang is being held in jail until court proceedings next month.

Rights Groups and RFI welcomed Thursday’s ruling.

“This ruling is a victory for Ahmed Abba who has been detained for more than two years simply for doing his job as a journalist,” said Amnesty International researcher Ilaria Allegrozzi.

REUTERS

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15 comments

  1. If Cameroon must be part and parcel of the present world, there is need to modify her laws to dovetail with what obtains in the rest of the world. The confidentiality between a journalist and the source of his news, especially in the theater of war, is recognized and put on par with that between a lawyer and his/her client, priest and penitent, doctor and patient, etc.Margaret Thatcher tried unsuccessfully to bend the BBC from objective reporting to a show of patriotism during the Falkland conflict with Argentina.

    Another curious issue is that involving the arrest and detention of US citizen Patrice Nganang. For those obsessed with the issue of dual nationality, how has this helped Patrice Nganang? Is the US ambassador in Yaounde involved in seeking his release?

  2. Separatist parties in Catalonia have won an absolute majority in state elections Simply put. catalonians will rule themselves. Spain will not send spaniards to lord it over catalonians and even call them dogs
    The Spanish Government did NOT:

    1. create a commission on bilingualism
    2. translate the OHADA text into the catalan language
    3. declare a war against the people of Catalonia

    LRC can learn from Spain. It is impossible to use the military to force a “people” to accept their second class status.
    Biya’s “Island of Peace” is heading for total destruction if Biya continues to ignore the writings on the wall:

    1. There is no military solution to the Anglophone palaver
    2. The Commission on Bilingualism is not a solution to the Anglophone Question

    DO NOT SAY THAT YOU WERE NOT WARNED !

    • Paul Biya is a prisoner of his own arrogance, empty promises, failed policies and insatiable appetite for eternal power. He is unable to free himself and Southern Cameroons from himself.
      He has made countless promises he cannot fulfil. Simply put, he has trapped himself in a quagmire of his own making.

      Case study 1: Form of the state

      Biya has publicly sworn that the form of the state is a NO-GO-AREA.
      However, he fails to understand that the Anglophone Question can NEVER EVER be resolved without a change in the form of the state.

      Simply put, Biya does NOT want to resolve the Anglophone Question

      • Case study 2: Biya has publicly declared war on Southern Cameroonians

        However, he fails to understand that there is no military solution to the Anglophone Question.
        Biya thought that by declaring war, he could intimidate Southern Cameroonians and force them to accept the Commission on Bilingualism as the solution to the Anglophone Palaver. He was therefore shocked when Southern Cameroonians reacted to his war declaration with BRING IT ON.

        Case study 3: Biya does not want to convene an inclusive and genuine dialogue.

        However, he fails to understand that the only credible and compelling path to resolving the Anglophone Question is an INCLUSIVE and GENUINE dialogue. Nothing more nothing less

        Biya has used his decrees to present cosmetic measures to no avail.

        • In sum, Biya has now trapped himself. He has put himself between a rock and a hard place. He does not know how to free himself without losing face.

          My prediction

          The Anglophone Question will NEVER EVER be resolved under Biya’s watch

        • Dalli Dalli has now using the screen name MVOMEKA

        • Dalli Dalli IS now using the screen name MVOMEKA

  3. @Dali Dali always bringing idiotic comparisons . Open what you think are your ears Catalonian have never burn schools they rather focus on teaching their language to schools.They never vandalize any public property.They never set ablaze any market.They never bomb any school.They never take their MP hostage nor threaten anyone who don’t share their opinions in fact they are real nationalists if you want to compare their struggle with the one of weeds smokers like you then ask yourself why am I calling Anglophones followers not thinkers.

    • @ little colby, it is you who is `bringing idiotic comparisms`.
      Ask anyone or try to read the lines with understanding. You will discover, that
      what you, tchiroma and biya call acts of terrorism by Anglos in Ambaland, happens
      in big countries eg. little france, mighty US, etc. It is called ` calling the attention
      of whoever`, for a good and quick solution to an existing bad situation.
      When the youths of Ambaland were protesting with peace plants in their hands, the
      like of little you, former prisoner tchiroma and dictator biya, only saw the need to
      brutalize, rape, cause the disappearances of many youths, covered the stealing spree
      of the military etc. etc. Why is it you don`t see these, as bad?

  4. So CameroUn free terrorists? It now shows they don’t understand the word they use all the time. They thought the world listens and believes them each time they call someone a terrorist. Sit tight brutal dictator and his praise singer Bakery who claims to be a religious man is worst than anything. Aba did his job and like the journalist that are intimidated to report lies in English Cameroons restoration war Aba could not lie and that is why he was given fake charges at a fake military court in CameroUn

  5. Lesson from Nigeria next door!!!!!!!.

    Erring soldiers who turned their weapons on to unarmed civilians instead of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists have been tried and some condemned to death while others got life imprisonment
    Is there a message here for persons notorious for saying “We have no lessons to learn from anyone”? Did Kembong village need so much destruction from the troops?

  6. Abba and Simon Ateba were rounded up about the same time. Ateba being of a Beti heritage was released immediately by presidential order while Randy Jo Sa’ah a BBC journalist took his place in prison. That is the nature of one and indivisible in this Beti Pahuin administration. We will resist you all till the mast man.

  7. @Colby ”Catalonian have never burn schools they rather focus on teaching their language to schools” Are u saying that if we had not burnt down schools,Biya would have accepted to discuss the form of the state which is the solution on the Anglophone question? If my memory does not fail me,it was on the 31st of Dec 2016,that Biya said the form of the state is a no go area.And at that time,there was no record of any school burnt..U really think u can use this burning of school thing to make your case? We are handling Biya the way he is suppose to be handdled.He has trapped himself in a quagmire of his own making..The Ambasonian independence has been declared.The schools we are burning are our schools.Same as the NA that he burnt is his.We will burn more schools and kill more Gendarmes.

    • @kongoss i really like desperate statements like “our independence ” when I know that all SDO mayors ect… in both Bea /Bda are CPDM crooks bro your independence is only on social media kikiki kikiki kikiki kikiki kikiki kikiki kikiki .

  8. @Colby Gendarmes from LRC are being killed every day for being aggressors by invading our territory and u called our independence,a social media independence? ha ha ha ha..are u serious? Ask Y’de to give u the real number of LRC’s soldiers that have been killed in Ambasonia and u will be shocked.