Three Cameroonian students, Fomusoh Ivo Feh, Afuh Nivelle Nfor, and Azah Levis Gob, were released after serving seven years in prison for sharing a Boko Haram joke.
Amnesty International criticized the arrest and conviction of the Cameroonian students in a statement released on Tuesday.
The students should not have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression, according to the rights group.
“These three students, who were only exercising their right to freedom of expression,” Amnesty International said in a statement, “should never have been arrested in the first place.” “The Cameroonian authorities must protect human rights and ensure that everyone has the freedom to express themselves without fear of retaliation.”
The students were released after the Supreme Court of Cameroon reduced their sentence to five years in prison, according to the organization.
After being detained since January 2015, the students were sentenced to ten years in prison in November 2016 by a military court.
According to an Amnesty International statement, the students were imprisoned for failing to report terrorism-related information.
The rights organization, on the other hand, claimed that the students were being punished for defying logic.
According to Amnesty International, the joke was passed around as a comment on the difficulty of finding a good job without being highly qualified.
One of the convicted students had shared a text message from a friend in 2014.
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Boko Haram was recruiting young people who had passed at least four exam subjects, according to the text message.
A teacher eventually saw the message and confiscated the student’s phone, which he then showed to the cops.