By Enyichukwu Enemanna
A military court in Haiti has imposed a suspended jail term on prominent activist, Chaima Issa for allegedly “insulting” the country’s President, Kais Saied.
The court on Wednesday handed Issa a one-year suspended prison sentence, a development that has attracted widespread condemnation from political and human rights groups.
She was also found guilty of spreading rumours to harm public security and inciting soldiers to disobey orders, the AFP news agency reported, citing Issa’s lawyer Dalila Ben Mbarek.
Amnesty International has described Issa’s conviction as “outrageous”, adding that “her case was brought by an increasingly repressive government that will stop at nothing to silence voices of dissent”.
Also, Human Rights Watch and Issa’s party, The National Salvation Front, have also criticised Issa’s trial and sentencing by a military court, even though she is a civilian.
“Tunisian authorities should immediately stop prosecuting activists simply for criticising President Kais Saied’s power grab and unjustly trying civilians before military courts,” Human Rights Watch said.
President Saied has been accused of authoritarian practices including cracking down on dissenters since he dissolved parliament and the government in 2021, granting himself more powers.