Recall: How Cameroon govt held RFI’s Ahmed Abba, what awaits Mefo?

The case of Mimi Mefo is not entirely new when it comes to the Cameroon government holding a journalist over terrorism or endangering state security.

Perhaps the most famed case id that of Ahmed Abba of French channel, Radio France International, RFI. Abba till his release in December 2017 had been held for over two years.

The state put him on trial over terrorism charges and non-denunciation of terrorism, they said he had links with Boko Haram insurgents operating the Far North region.

Arrested in July 2015, Abba’s trial was dragged and unnecessarily prolonged with lengthy adjournments.

In April 2017, he was finally slapped with 10-year jail term on both charges.  Months down the line, the appeal court struck off the terrorism charge leaving the other.

His sentence was slashed to two years – which he had already served, he was subsequently released.

Parallels with the case of Mimi Mefo are that they both were hit by terrorism or endangering national security. Mefo is hauled straight before a military tribunal contrary to the civil law under which Cameroon should be operating.

The campaigners are out demanding her release but what we have learnt over the years is that some governments will hold on to a person they suspect of infractions for as long as they want.

It is sad that Mimi Mefo could face a similar fate with the trend that we are seeing. The case of Mancho Bibixy and co, worsens the concerns.

Whiles at it, let’s reiterate that the gap – of information – that Mimi left remains unfilled – very sadly so. It is heartwarming that most voices in Cameroon and outside are demanding that the right thing is done – that she be freed and be made to face a civilian court.

We can as at now, only hope for the best.

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