A court in Cameroon has convicted seven activists from the country’s English-speaking minority of rebellion and terrorism, handing them sentences ranging from 10 to 15 years.
They include the group’s leader, Mancho Bibixy, a radio presenter in the Anglophone North-West Region.
Cameroon’s English-speaking minority now say they are marginalised by the country’s Francophone majority.Separatists have been demanding independence.
According to correspondents Mancho Bibixy’s radio broadcasts are associated with a radical movement in the north-western town of Bamenda. The North-West and South-West regions are the two mainly English-speaking areas.
He was one of several activists arrested in January after anti-government protests.
On Friday, he was found guilty by a military court in the capital Yaounde of “acts of terrorism, hostility against the homeland, secession, revolution and insurrection” and jailed for 15 years, a reporter with AFP news agency said.
He and his co-defendants were also ordered to pay a joint fine of $464,000 (£348,000) plus legal fees.
Defence lawyer Claude Assira however said the court’s decision was “excessive and pointless” and would not resolve Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis.