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Burundi: Release of three school girls accused of scribbling photos of president Nkurunziza

Three schoolgirls, who had been arrested for scribbling the photo of President Pierre Nkurunziza were released.

Burundian justice minister announced the release of three schoolgirls aged between 14 and 17, imprisoned in the north for scribbling photos of President Pierre Nkurunziza

Aimée Laurentine Kanyana, Minister of Justice, told RTNB (national television) that girls enjoyed temporary freedom. Similar events in the future will be prosecuted, she said.

"We call on parents to strengthen the education of their children, we remind children that they must respect the authorities, that the age of criminal responsibility is 15 years," she said.

Since the arrest of schoolgirls, several Internet users have launched an online campaign on social media around the hashtag #freeourgirls.

In 2016, more than 230 students were temporarily stripped of their school for contempt after scribbling photos of Nkurunziza and then sentenced to 20 years in prison before being laundered and reinstated in their school against the outcry.

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