Monday, June 24, 2024

The Malian professor jailed for criticizing military junta

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

Malian professor, Étienne Fakaba Sissoko had written a book but little did he know that act would send him to jail.

The economist professor was jailed for two years for his criticism the current military junta.

The 41-year-old academic, has been in custody since March this year, charged with defamation and damaging the state’s reputation by distributing fake news.

The charges relate to the book he published last year, which he had defended in court, saying the work was based on fact.

The publication that prompted his latest arrest is called “Propaganda, Agitation and Harassment – government communication during the transition in Mali”.

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The book accuses the junta of using manipulation and “even lies” to sway public opinion in its favour.

Before his arrest, Sissoko also published a post on Facebook calling for elections to be held.

Although one of the sentences has been suspended Sissoko has been fined 3m CFA francs ($4,900).

The military junta came to power in August 2020 when then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was overthrown in a coup after huge anti-government protests over his handling of jihadist unrest.

Sissoko’s lawyer, Ibrahim Marhouf Sacko is quoted by the AFP as saying that he was “not surprised” by the verdict and would be filing an appeal.

The University of Bamako professor once served as an adviser to the late Mr. Keïta and spent several months in jail in 2022.

Human rights groups say his is the latest case in a widespread crackdown on critics and political opponents of the military rulers.

The junta has faced criticism for reneging on agreed timelines for transitioning to democratic civilian rule.

Elections due to be held in February were again postponed.

Top Ghanaian law professor ‘murdered’ at his home


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