Three Burundi schoolgirls spent the weekend in jail and are facing five years in prison for drawing on the President’s face in their school books, Human Rights Watch told CNN.
The girls, who are all minors, were arrested last week and were on Monday charged with ‘insulting the head of state,’ according to the human rights group.
They are on remand while they await trial for drawing on President Pierre Nkurunziza’s face during one of their classes, Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch told CNN.
Mudge said textbooks in Burundi’s school system are often passed in between classes and it is, therefore, difficult to know who scribbled on the President’s image in the first place.
“It’s ridiculous that we’re at a point where we even have to ask or interject this point in a conversation. These are schoolgirls that are being detained,” he said.
School children in Burundi have previously been jailed in the past for similar offenses.