In Cameroon, police on Wednesday banned the press conference in Yaoundé of the Amnesty International office for West and Central Africa, whose officials were surprised at the reaction of Authorities.
“The press conference was canceled by the management of Hotel la Falaise, access to the conference room is not granted, we are looking for a plan B,” Amnesty International officials said in the lobby of the Hotel La Falaise this 24th May in Yaoundé. This information was given to all national and international press journalists invited to a conference as part of an Amnesty International advocacy mission to Cameroon.
During the press conference, Amnesty International and its partners planned to unveil the contents of thousands of letters from around the world containing messages calling on President Paul Biya to release the three youths imprisoned for ten years for simply sharing a joke SMS on Boko Haram. Indeed, on 21 September 2016, the Yaounde military court pronounced the verdict of the trial of Fomusoh Ivo Feh and two of his friends, one of whom was arrested at the end of 2014. They have been appearing since 7 September 2016 for complicity in insurrection and non-denunciation.
On 13 December 2014, Fomusoh Ivo Feh, was arrested by the police in the town of Limbe south west region. It was a few weeks after he had sent a friend a sarcastic SMS from a military friend who said, “Boko Haram recruits young people aged 14 and over. Conditions of recruitment: must have pass 4 subjects and religion at the GCE A Levels”. One of his friends transferred the SMS to a high school student, whose teacher, who had confiscated the phone during a class, was aware of it. The teacher showed the message to the police who first arrested the high school student and then Fomusoh and his friend.
Alioune Tine, Amnesty International Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Fomusoh Eric, Family Representative of Prisoners, Cyrille Bechon, Executive Director of NDH-Cameroon, and Me Modou, Lawyer, trained the speakers scheduled. Amnesty International, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa said Amnesty International uses peaceful means, legal means to fight and enforce human rights. “We ask the Cameroonian authorities to release these young people,” he said.