24, May 2017
Police banned a press conference today in Yaoundé organized by the Amnesty International office for West and Central Africa. The officials of the renowned body were surprised at the Biya’s regime reaction and informed press men and women that they had respected all legal procedures but “We are extremely surprised at the ban on this press conference,” said Aliuone Tine, Amnesty International’s regional director for West and Central Africa, facing a dozen policemen in uniform including some elements from the Secret Service.
Cameroon Concord News understands Amnesty International intended to present to the media a petition which recorded more than 300,000 signatures worldwide, through which thousands of people asked the 84 year old dictator President Biya for the release of three students each sentenced to 10 years in jail, for circulating a joke on Boko Haram, by SMS
The three Cameroonian students were convicted of non-denunciation of terrorist acts on the 2nd of November 2016 and 310,000 people around the world are asking the Cameroonian authorities to release these students and allow them to join their families for them to realize their dream of being able to continue their studies and find a job. Among the signatories of the petition are celebrities like Patrick Mboma, a Cameroonian football legend.
In December 2014, Fomusoh Ivo received an SMS saying, “Boko Haram recruits young people from 14 years. Conditions of recruitment: 4 GCE subjects including religion “. According to Amnesty International, his friend’s SMS was meant to highlight the difficulty of finding a good job without a diploma, and suggested, in the tone of the joke, that included the armed group, Boko Haram.
The young Fomusoh, forwarded this message to Afuh Nivelle Nfor, who then sent it to Azah Lewis Gob. These three young people were charged on 3 March 2015, under the Penal Code and the Cameroonian Military Justice Code.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with files from Sama Ernest