By Riches Soberekon
Rokia Doumbia, a Malian woman known for her criticism of the ruling military government, was sentenced to a year in prison on Wednesday. She was also fined 1 million CFA francs (about $1,500).
Doumbia was convicted of “insulting the Head of State,” “inciting revolt,” and “disturbing public order through the use of information and communication technologies.”
The charges stemmed from a live video she posted on TikTok in March, in which she criticized the military government and its handling of the country’s security and economic problems.
Doumbia’s lawyer, Kassoum Tapo, said that they would appeal the verdict. He called the sentence “disproportionate” and said that it was an attempt to silence dissent.
The country has been under military rule since 2020, and the junta has cracked down on dissent. In recent months, there have been several arrests of people who have criticized the government on social media.
Doumbia’s case has also drawn attention to the plight of women in Mali. She is one of several women who have been arrested and prosecuted for speaking out against the government. In a country where women’s rights are already limited, these arrests send a chilling message to other women who might want to speak out.