Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has criticized a Cameroonian military court after it sentenced three men to 10 years imprisonment for circulating a sarcastic text message about Boko Haram.
The international NGO denounces the non-respect of the freedom of expression saying the ruling was “clear evidence” that Cameroonian military courts should not try civilians
“A judge condemns a person to 10 years in prison on the simple basis of an SMS joke, it is not a terrorist act in view and that Fomusoh and his friends had to denounce it. To make a joke about Boko Haram cannot lead one to serve a 10-year prison sentence,” said Samira Daoud of Amnesty International, Dakar Senegal.
Fomusoh was arrested on December 13, 2014, after forwarding an SMS message to his friends containing a joke about the Nigerian militant group. After being held in a police cell in the western city of Douala, Fomusoh was transferred to the counter-terrorism agency in the capital Yaoundé according to reports from Africa news
“It is imperative that governments wage war against terrorist groups but they should also protect individuals because it is their duty not to trample on the rights of citizens“Daoud added.
The Human right watchdog should be noted has frequently accused the government of human rights violations, charges which the government spokesman Issa Chiroma has always refuted