Tuesday 2.8.2016 in Latest Developments
Civil society is repeating calls for the release of journalist Ahmed Abba, who has been held in detention for one year since his arrest on 30th July, 2015. Abba, who works for french broadcaster Radio France Internationale (RFI), was arrested and charged under anti-terrorism legislation in Maroua, northern Cameroon. He was held in secret detention for three months before being transferred to the custody of the intelligence services in the capital, Yaounde.
He is alleged to have been physically and psychologically mistreated while in detention and was questioned without the presence of a lawyer. Although there have been six hearings held since his arrest, a judge is yet to deliberate the case against him. Abba's lawyer claims that his detention and prosecution are politically motivated and influenced by a current of anti-French feeling in Cameroon at present.
On 30th June, police arrested and detained Bernard Njonga, an activist and opposition political party leader with close ties to Cameroonian farmers, after he took part in a protest in Yaounde. Njonga was supporting a group of poultry farmers who were angered by measures imposed by the government to curb avian flu in some regions of the country. The farmers allege that the measures discriminate against small producers and favour large international poultry importers.