On Tuesday, a court in Burkina Faso sentenced a pro-junta activist to one year in prison for defaming the police, and an additional two years were also tacked on from a previous suspended sentence due to making death threats.
In the capital city of Ouagadougou, the court found Mohamed Sinon guilty after he made accusations against the gendarmerie, stating that they were not “100 percent committed in the struggle” against the jihadist insurgency.
Sinon was additionally fined one million CFA francs ($1,700) for “attacking the honor of the gendarmerie corps.”
However, the charge of endangering others was dropped.
The defendant pleaded not guilty, asserting that he had “not mentioned the struggle against terrorism but rather against corruption.”
Sinon, who leads the Collective of Pan-African Leaders (CLP), had previously been given a two-year suspended jail sentence in February for making death threats against two journalists.
The court ruled that Sinon should now serve the full three-year sentence.
Since September 2022, Burkina Faso has been under the rule of a junta led by Captain Ibrahim Traore, who has pledged a transition to democracy with presidential elections scheduled for the following year.
He has made a commitment to reclaim the 40 percent of the national territory that has been taken over by jihadists affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group since 2015.