Africa In The News

Cameroonians languish in jail over Boko Haram jokes

YAOUNDE – HUMAN rights groups have expressed mixed feelings
over the dropping of charges levelled against leaders of the unrest in
recent months in the Anglophone region in Cameroon.

Protesters have been demonstrating against the marginalization of
English-speaking regions at the expense of French-speaking populations.

Samira, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for West and
Central Africa said while the decision to drop charges against Barrister
Nkongho Felix Agbor-Balla and Dr Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, and several
others who spent over six months in jail was relief and welcome news they
should never have been arrested and prosecuted.

He said it should not be forgotten Cameroonian authorities were detaining
many other individuals on suspected spurious charges related to national
security.

Fomusoh Ivo Feh and his two friends were jailed for ten years for sharing
a private joke about Boko Haram by text message while Ahmed Abba, a radio
journalist is in jail for similar charges.

Daoud said opposition leader, Aboubakar Siddiki, and Abdoulaye Harissou, a
well-known notary, had also been held in detention for more than three
years without trial on alleged trumped-up charges.

“They should be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Daoud.

– CAJ News

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