Ahmed Abba, a journalist for Radio France Internationale’s Hausa service, has been convicted by military court in Cameroon on charges of non-denunciation of terrorism.
Abba, who has been in jail since July 2015 over his reporting on Boko Haram, could face death penalty.
According to Clement Nakong, Abba’s lawyer, the journalist could face the death penalty on the first charge and a maximum of five years in prison on the second charge at a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 24. Nakong said Abba would appeal to have the conviction overturned.
In reaction to Abba’s case, the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, exhorted Cameroonian authorities to release Abba without delay and not to contest the journalist’s appeal.
“The military court’s conviction of Cameroonian radio journalist Ahmed Abba on terrorism charges that could carry the death penalty is an outrage,” Robert Mahoney, CPJ deputy executive director, said in a press release.
“Covering terrorism as a reporter must not be equated with committing acts of terror. Each day Abba spends behind bars is a travesty of justice.”
To Abba the trial is unfair. He reportedly told the CPJ through a proxy in January that he has never been told who he knows that he did not denounce, or who are his accomplices.
“I could get justice in a civil court, maybe, but not in a military court. Right now I don’t know my fate” he said.