DAKAR, Senegal – Amnesty International says authorities in Cameroon have shut down a news conference where the rights group planned to discuss the plight of three students sentenced to a decade in prison over a Boko Haram joke.
The organization had planned to present more than 310,000 letters and signatures in support of the students, who had shared a joke about the extremist group in a text message.
But Amnesty says about a dozen security agents showed up at the press conference venue early Wednesday in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde and ordered the hotel's manager to shut down the event.
Alioune Tine, Amnesty's director for West and Central Africa, says the organization is calling on longtime President Paul Biya to release the students.
Boko Haram is based in neighboring Nigeria.