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Students released after spending seven years in jail for sharing Boko Haram joke
Opinion

Students released after spending seven years in jail for sharing Boko Haram joke 

Students released after spending seven years in jail for sharing Boko Haram joke

Three Cameroonian students, Fomusoh Ivo Feh, Afuh Nivelle Nfor and Azah Levis Gob, convicted for sharing a Boko Haram joke, were released after spending seven years in jail.

Announcing their release in a statement on Tuesday, Amnesty International faulted the arrest and conviction of the Cameroonian students.

The rights group argued that the students should not have been arrested as they exercised their right to freedom of expression.

“These three students who were only exercising their right to freedom of expression should never have been arrested in the first place,” Amnesty said in the statement. “The Cameroonian authorities must protect human rights and ensure that everyone can speak out freely without fear of reprisal.”

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The organisation disclosed that the students were released after Cameroon’s Supreme Court reduced their jail term to five years.

Having been in detention since January 2015, the students were later sentenced to 10 years in prison by a military court in November 2016.

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According to the Amnesty statement, the court said it jailed the students for not reporting terrorism-related information.

However, the rights organisation argued that the students were punished against logic.

Amnesty International explained that the joke shared by the students was passed as a comment on the difficulty of finding a good job without being highly qualified.

In 2014, one of the convicted students had shared a text message he received from a friend.

The text message said Boko Haram was recruiting young people that passed at least four exam subjects.

The message was eventually seen by a teacher who confiscated the student’s phone and showed it to the police.

(Peoples Gazette)

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