Burundi: Children detained for scribbling on leader’s image

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A parent and a teacher say six schoolgirls in Burundi have been detained for scribbling on an image of the country’s president in schoolbooks.

The case echoes one in 2016, when several students were condemned to up to 20 years behind bars. They were freed after a public outcry. At the time, the government said the students had been influenced by “enemies of the country.”

President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he won’t run for another term

The parent and teacher in this case in Kirundo spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for their safety.

Burundi has been in political turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015 announced he would run for another term. The government kicked out the United Nations human rights office this month.

A national federation of children’s associations says detaining the schoolgirls is not a solution.

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