Cameroon security forces May 24 banned Amnesty International from organising a press conference aimed shedding light on the case of three male students jailed for sending a text message joking about Boko Haram.
Fomusoh Ivo Feh, Afuh Nivelle Nfor and Azah Levis Gob were found guilty of “not condemning terrorism activities” and sentenced to 10 years in prison last year.
Amnesty International said some Cameroonian security officers reportedly closed the doors of the conference room in Yaounde where the event was scheduled to take place. “Another event planned for May 24, by one of Amnesty International’s local partners to discuss the human rights situation in the country was also prohibited from taking place,” the rights group said on its twitter page.
According to official sources, the government stopped the conference stating that it posed a threat to public order.
The three students had joked about the fact that it was so hard to find a job in the country that even Boko Haram terrorists did not recruit people with bad grades. “Boko Haram recruits young people from 14 years old and above. Conditions for recruitment: 4 subjects at GCE, including religion,” read the SMS shared by the three friends.
Since their arrest, more than 310,000 people around the world have written letters or signed petitions demanding that President Biya immediately and unconditionally release students.