to the Night Prayer Vigil
Night of June 26, 2017

Ahmed Abba

Cameroon... Ahmed Abba, journalist, imprisoned for doing his job

Mr. Ahmed Abba, is a correspondent for Radio France Internationale (RFI) a speaker of the Hausa language in the Cameroon, he has been in prison since July 2015. He is being prosecuted under the anti-terrorist laws of December 2014, which derogates from the penal code and does not respect the principles of a fair trial.

The sentence was given on the 24th April 2017. Ahmed Abba has just been sentenced to 10 years in prison together with the imposition of a very heavy fine (€ 85,000) for non-denunciation and "laundering" acts of terrorism. He has just escaped the death penalty, which was initially required by the military courts. His mistake was that as a journalist, he investigated Boko Haram and the political situation in North Cameroon.

Mr. Ahmed Abba was arbitrarily arrested in Maroua on 30 July 2015 by the security forces. Initially, he was held incommunicado for more than three months: he could not receive any visits (from either his lawyer, a doctor, or relatives). During this period of imprisonment, he suffered both physical and psychological violence. He then had to wait another four months in prison before his trial began before a military court and not before a civil court.

Since then, the procedure for "complicity in acts of terrorism" and "the non-denunciation of acts of terrorism" has dragged on in the Yaoundé Military Court and the hearings have been repeatedly dismissed.

Finally, although Cameroon has ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the protection of journalists and their sources, the Cameroon authorities seem determined to undermine the position of Ahmed Abba.

What can you do?

Pray for him and pray for his liberation

Ahmed Abba

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