Cameroonian journalist jailed for 10 years

A Cameroonian journalist has been jailed for ten years by the government. He has also been fined CFA 55 million.

The African Editors Forum (TAEF), in a statement said the journalist, Ahmed Abba attended a function in his official capacity as a journalist, in the north of Cameroon over 633 days ago.

When the function ended Abba was detained by law enforcement authorities and kept for over three months without access to his family, colleagues or lawyers in a Yaounde jail and has since been in detention, TAEF said.

Abba was convicted on charges of “non-denunciation of terrorism” and “laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts,” according to his lawyer and RFI, the statement said.

The African Editors Forum therefore condemns in the strongest possible terms and with the contempt it deserves, the jail sentence and fine imposed on the journalist.

TAEF continues to be deeply concerned about Abba’s welfare and is working with the Committee to Protect Journalists, among others, to seek Abba’s freedom, the statement said.

“African Editors are deeply concerned that some governments on the continent are using the so-called war on terror to close down democratic spaces and launch assaults on media and other freedoms,” it added.

TAEF further called for the immediate release of other journalists who also have been detained for doing their work. The journalists are:

– Thomas Awah Junior, a journalist for and publisher of the monthly Aghem Messenger magazine.

– Mfor Ndong, publisher of the Bamenda-based newspaper Voice of the Voiceless, whom security forces arrested in Buea on February 9, 2017.

– Hans Achumba, a journalist for Jakiri Community Radio in the Bui Division of the Northwest Region of Cameroon.

– Tim Finnian, publisher of Life Time newspaper, whom security forces arrested on January 27, 2017,

– Jean Claude Agbortem, co-founder of the online magazine Camer Veritas, whom police arrested on January 28, 2017.

–  Medjo Lewis, editor of La Détente Libre, whom police arrested on February 22, 2017.

– Atia Azohnwi, a journalist with The Sun newspaper and the Buea head of the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists, whom security forces arrested with Amos Fofung on February 9, 2017.

– Amos Fofung, Buea bureau chief of The Guardian Post, whom security forces arrested with Atia Azohnwi on February 9, 2017, in Molyko.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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