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Politics | Human rights
Burundi opposition leader charged with contempt
afrol News, 12 November - Burundi opposition leader Alexis Sinduhije has been charged for allegedly insulting president, his lawyer said.
Mr Sinduhije, who was arrested on 3 November by Police for holding an unauthorised meeting with about 40 followers, was sent to central prison in capital, Bujumbura, after appearing briefly before a magistrate.
Dozens of policemen were deployed near the court where around 150 supporters gathered to protest against Mr Sinduhije's arrest.
Lawyer Prosper Niyoyankana said his client is accused of contempt for the head of state on the basis of illegally seized documents because a search warrant was issued for his house and not for his party headquarters.
"This is a purely political matter. It has nothing to do with the law. Mr Sinduhije, like other political prisoners in this country, is being punished by government for their criticism of the regime," Mr Niyoyankana said.
Meanwhile, 37 founding members of Movement for Security and Democracy who were arrested along his side, had been freed since Saturday, a human rights activist confirmed.
"Some were not even questioned and the police commander told me that he received orders from above to free them," said Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, head of Association for defence of detained persons and human rights.
Mr Sinduhije is one of several opposition and civil society figures in the central Mpimba prison.
European Union on Monday condemned his arrest and warned central African country that such action violated terms of the bloc's aid to Bujumbura.
Britain and United States also criticised the arrests.
By staff writer
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