Ahmed Abba, Radio France Internationale
Charge:No Charge
Imprisoned:July 30, 2015

Ahmed Abba, a Nigerian national and correspondent for Radio France Internationale's (RFI) Hausa service, was arrested by Cameroonian officials in Maroua, the capital of the Far North Region of Cameroon, on July 30, 2015, according to a report by RFI. He was taken to the capital, Yaoundé. The journalist was denied access to his lawyer until October 19, RFI told CPJ.

RFI cited the journalist's lawyer, Charles Tchoungang, as saying Abba was interrogated in relation to the activities of the extremist sect Boko Haram, which has renamed itself the Islamic State in West Africa. Formed in 2002, Boko Haram, which is based in northern Nigeria, has been increasing its presence in northern Cameroon since 2014, according to reports. The group has become notorious for mass kidnappings and targeted attacks on civilians, reports said.

According to RFI, Abba mostly covered refugee issues in the region. The outlet said that Abba had reported on attacks carried out by Boko Haram, but that he never cited any Boko Haram sources or conducted investigations into Boko Haram activities.

Dennis Nkwebo, president of the Cameroon Journalism Trade Union, told CPJ in September 2015 that Abba has lived in northern Cameroon for some time. He said the day Abba was arrested he had gone to a meeting at the office of a local governor. The reason for Abba's visit to the governor was not clear.

RFI told CPJ that it had not been told of any specific allegations against Abba. The outlet said that it was not aware that Abba had broken any local laws through his reporting and that it had had no contact with him since his arrest.

Authorities had not disclosed any charges against Abba as of late 2015. RFI said the journalist was healthy and was being held in a prison in Yaoundé.

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