Tuesday 17.7.2018 in Latest Developments in Burkina Faso Country Page
On 3rd July 2018, the Court of Ouagadougou sentenced Burkinabé cyberactivist Naïm Touré to two months in prison on charges of 'incitement to revolt'. Touré was arrested on 14th June, following the publication of a Facebook post in which he criticised the lack of medical attention to a special unit officer who was wounded during an anti-terrorism operation. Touré was acquitted for two other charges, namely 'demoralisation of the armed forces' and 'conspiracy against the security of the state'.
The arrest and conviction of Touré was heavily criticised by civil society organisations in Burkina Faso. In an open letter on 16th June, five Burkinabé CSOs - including Cercle d'éveil and Observatoire pour la démocratie et les droits de l'Homme said Touré's arrest constitutes a violation of the freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Constitution. On 4th July 2018, eight organisations active in the ICT sector - including Africtivists and Association des blogueurs du Burkina (ABB; Association of Bloggers of Burkina) - declared:
"This conviction lacks elegance for our country and sounds like a democratic retreat and an attack on freedom of expression and opinion in Burkina Faso. We, organizations of the world of ICTs, while recognizing some excesses at times in the use of the social networks, regret this decision of justice."