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Cameroon – Boko Haram: Amnesty International demands the “immediate” release of 3 students convicted after sharing joke sms on Boko Haram.

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Written by Deckson N.

The Yaounde military court was to pronounce the sentence on Wednesday, October 19 it had given to Fomusoh Ivo Feh, and his two friends Afuh Nivelle Nfor and Azah Levis Gob, convicted for “non-denunciation of terrorist acts.” It must be said that they have been detained since 2014 for sharing a joke message on Boko Haram. They face up to 20 years imprisonment. The trial was adjourned to November 2, 2016.

On Wednesday, 05 October, the military court in Yaounde acknowledged the three youths guilty of “failure to report terrorist acts” solely on the basis of a sarcastic SMS sent by Ivo Fomusoh Feh saying, “Boko Haram is recruiting youths aged 14 and older. Recruitment conditions: 4 subjects in O/L with religion in A/L.

For Amnesty International, the ‘imprisonment, for whatever term, accentuate more the nightmare of these three young people who have spent nearly two years of their lives in custody.

Through the voice of Ide Balkissa Siddo, the head of campaigns for Central Africa, Amnesty International believes that the “prisoner of conscience Fomusoh Feh Ivo and his two friends should be released immediately and unconditionally. The requirements of national security and the fight against Boko Haram can not be a pretext for the violation of the right of the Cameroonian population to freedom of expression.

Finally, “the tragedy of these young people is nonsense. Suppressing humor will not under any circumstances help defeat Boko Haram and it is a serious attack on freedom of expression. This blind repression must stop, “said Ide Balkissa Siddo.

In return, the anti-terrorism law adopted in December 2014 allows military courts to prosecute those arrested in the fight against terrorism. Amnesty International has repeatedly denounced the trial conducted before these courts, given their lack of independence and impartiality, and the absence of guarantees of a fair trial.

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Deckson N.