Professor jailed for criticising the junta

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A prominent Malian economist and professor has been sentenced to two years in jail, one of which was suspended, for his criticism of the military junta.

Étienne Fakaba Sissoko was also ordered to pay a fine of 3m CFA francs ($4,900; £3,900).

The 41-year-old academic, who has been in custody since March, was charged with defamation and damaging the state’s reputation by distributing fake news.

The charges relate to a book he published last year, which he defended in court, saying the work was based on fact.

Human rights groups say his is the latest case in a widespread crackdown on critics and political opponents of the military rulers.

They came to power in August 2020 when then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was overthrown in a coup after huge anti-government protests over his handling of jihadist unrest.

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