Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Cameroonian reporter charged with terrorism in military court

A Cameroonian journalist with Radio France International (RFI) appeared at a military court Monday accused of acting as a Boko Haram accomplice.

Ahmed Abba, a Hausa-language RFI reporter who was arrested last July, faces charges of "complicity in terrorism and failing to denounce acts of terror", according to a charge sheet read to the court in Yaounde.He denies the charges.

The trial was adjourned until March 28 to allow judges to rule on complaints by Abba's lawyers that he has suffered rights abuses including torture.

The journalist is accused of acting as an accomplice to two members of Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based extremist group that has also launched attacks on Cameroonian soil.

Prosecutors also accuse Abba of failing to warn authorities when he became aware of "activities by the Boko Haram sect".

According to the government, Abba was arrested in Maroua in Cameroon's Far North region, where more than 1,200 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks since 2013.

The journalist's legal team has demanded that the trial be scrapped altogether, saying his detention is "arbitrary and illegal" and that he was initially denied access to his family and lawyers.

"When I went to see him in prison, he was locked up and in chains like at Guantanamo," his lawyer Charles Tchoungang said.

Cameroon adopted a controversial anti-terror law in December 2014 allowing capital punishment for convicts found guilty of carrying out terror attacks or complicity in terrorism.

"Glorification of terrorism" also carries heavy penalties.

1 comment:

  1. Souvent on éprouve de la sympathie envers un détenu à cause de ses conditions de détention misérables. Et ses avocats aiment bien présenter ce cliché de la misère de leurs clients afin de l’humaniser et ainsi de le déculpabiliser dans les consciences de tous ceux qui entendent parler de lui. Cependant les faits sont têtus. Les faits qui sont reprochés à ceux journalistes controversé en moment de guerre peuvent s’avérer vraie et l’histoire des conflits analogues peut nous en dire l’on.

    Dans le conflit Ivoirien bien connus de tous, les journaux français ont pris le coté de rebelles qui ont attaqué la Cote d’Ivoire le 19 Septembre 2002. Ainsi quand ces journalistes locaux affiliés aux media français étaient avertis de quelconque attaque imminentes des rebelles, ils gardaient le silence et refusait d’y accorder des reportages. Mais quand les force de Laurent Gbagbo réagissaient à ces attaques, ces même journalistes critiquaient la réaction de force gouvernemental, la qualifiant de démesurée et de massacre. Ce même système d’information continue jusqu’à ce jour et certain journaliste camerounais veulent bien l’expérimenter dans la guerre contre le Boko Haram. Malheureusement le Cameroun n’est pas la Cote d’Ivoire.

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