Ahmed Abba, a Cameroonian radio journalist who is serving a 10 year prison sentence arising from his coverage of Boko Haram extremities has won a top press freedom award.
This was awarded by a New York-based committee to protect journalist. Abba is the only African to be awarded its 2017 international press freedom award
Abba who is a journalist for radio France Internationale’s Hausa service was first imprisoned in Cameroon in July 2015, spent 635 days in pre-trial detention before convicted of charges of “non-denonciation of terrorism” and “laundering of proceeds of terrorist acts”
His conviction and sentence sparked outrage. Ilaria Allegrozzi amnesty International’s lake Chad researcher at the time said “Ahmed Abba’s conviction, after torture and unfair trial is clear evidence that Cameroons military courts are not competent to try civilians and should not have jurisdiction in this cases’
Denis Nkwembo Cameroon Journalist Union Leader on his part said that “This is an attempt to criminalize the profession of journalism in Cameroon.”