Thursday, July 2, 2020

Global support for Burundi’s jailed schoolgirls

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Isaac Kaledzihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.
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There is huge global support for schoolgirls jailed in Burundi for scribbling over the picture of the country’s President.

Seven schoolchildren were arrested two weeks ago for an act the country’s authorities considered insulting to the President.

The schoolchildren were arrested in Kirundo province, in Burundi’s northeast.

They had scribbled over images of President Pierre Nkurunziza printed in their school text books.

Four of them, including a 13-year-old, were freed immediately but the other three schoolgirls all under 18 years are awaiting trial.

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They were charged last week with insulting the head of state and have been detained in prison.

Spokeswoman for the Burundi’s Supreme Court, Agnès Bangiricenge had said that a regional court in Kirundo ordered their detention ahead of a full trial.

They could be jailed for up to five years if successfully convicted.

Just a child’s act?

A child’s rights activist, David Ninganza told Reuters that “It is true that scribbling (on the president’s picture) is a punishable offence under the Burundian law.

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But since it was committed by teenagers, I believe  this is a mitigating circumstance.”

He adds that “Those school children are not engaged in any political fights and need no political posts. That’s why judges have to consider all those issues in their investigations.”

This would not be the first time school children serve a jail term for defacing the picture of the President.

11 children were jailed for defacing a photograph of Nkurunziza in a school text book in 2016.

Global support for the girls

There is now a global support across various social media platforms asking for the government of Burundi to release the detained girls.

There is a hashtag of trending on social media platforms in solidarity with the schoolgirls.

 

 

Source: Africafeeds.com

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