Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Minister Issa Tchiroma Says RFI Hausa Journalist Presently Serving A 10 Year Jail Term In Kondengui Is An Offspring Of Boko Haram

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Issa Tchiroma Says RFI Hausa Journalist Presently Serving A 10 Year Jail Term In Kondengui Is An Offspring Of Boko Haram

10 years imprisonment plus a 55 million F CFA Fine to be paid to the government of Cameroon, is the punishment given to Ahmed AbbaRadio France Internationale's (RFI) Hausa correspondent, accused of "non-denunciation of terrorism" and "laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts,".  

Abba, who has been held in pretrial detention for 635 days, was convicted on Monday April 24th 2017 by the Yaounde Military court.

This verdict has been criticized by the local and internal press, who thinks the Cameroon government is using crooked means to intimidate the media and thwart reality.

RFI on its part, says the liberty to inform and be informed are at stake in Cameroon, and are calling on all media personalities to stand up as one man to defend this fundamental right.

"It is a punishment against the press. It is a way to voluntarily criminalize the journalism profession in Cameroon because Ahmed Abba is being punished for being in a professional situation".

Reacting to this declarations, Government spokesman and Minister of Communication Issa Tchiroma Bakary said during the 8 p.m News of yesterday Tuesday, April  25 2017 that: 'We should trust our judicial system. It is with the motive of exercising his profession, that Ahmed Abba was found guilty and judged. I take advantage of this to say that this guy, according to exhibits presented to the Military Court, this journalist or  so called journalist is nothing but an offspring of Boko Haram, hiding behind the reputable cloak of RFI to  perpetrate his crime'.

Citing the administrative tolerance applied so that many audio visual houses to operates without respecting the precondition, Issa Tchiroma said 'Cameroon is a country where freedom of press is a reality'. 'What RFI has done is unacceptable', condemning the declarations of RFI after the verdict of Ahmed Abba.

Ahmed Abba's lawyer Barrister Clement Nakong said he will appeal Abba's sentence within the 10 days set by the court.
"Ahmed Abba should never have been detained, prosecuted, and convicted for his journalism--let alone ordered to spend a decade behind bars," said Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal, in Johannesburg, South Africa. "This outrageous sentence signals the lengths that Cameroon authorities are willing to go to intimidate the media and thwart freedom of the press."

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