By Scroll reporter Lagos, Nigeria
Ahmed Abba, Cameroonian radio journalist had been convicted by a military court in Yaounde. Cameroon. It means he could face death penalty as he was convicted of terrorism related charges for what some lawyers have described as simply doing his job.
Abba a young journalist in his 30s has already spent 633 days in jail.
As in the case with repressive regime the world over, terrorism legislation is often abused to tighten the democratic space and the right to media freedom.
Bode Thompson a lawyer told Scroll Report that it is against international law for a civilian to be tried by a military tribunal.
Angela Quintal, Africa Program Coodinator, Commitee to Protect Journalists has been writing to several people and organisations to raise awareness and take up Abba’s case. Already South Africans have taken to the streets, to protest. They also plan to picket outside the Cameroonian embassy in Pretoria, on May 3 which is World Press Freedom Day.
Similarly the Commitee to Protect Journalists has called on Turkish authorities to stop jailing journalists and supressing dissent in the wake of a referendum to change Turkey’s system of governance from parliamentary to presidential. So far five journalists have been arrested. The news room of the publication which reported he protest was also invaded.