President Desi Bouterse sitting in a wooden chair with a red flag beside himPicture copyright

Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse has been sentenced to 20 years in jail over the execution of 15 political opponents in 1982.

Bouterse, 74, is at the moment on an official go to in China and could have two weeks to attraction in opposition to the conviction.

He was discovered responsible of planning and ordering the extrajudicial execution of 15 political prisoners.

The president has beforehand denied the allegations.

He claimed the victims, who included legal professionals, union leaders and journalists, had been shot whereas attempting to flee a colonial-era fortress in Paramaribo, the capital of the South American nation.

Bourtese led Suriname in the course of the 1980s as head of a army authorities and de facto chief.

He took workplace as president in 2010, following a democratic election and was elected for one more time period in 2015.

The court docket dominated that the president had overseen an operation which concerned troopers below his command kidnapping 16 authorities critics, together with legal professionals, journalists and college professors.

Solely one of many detainees – a union chief – survived the killings and was in a position to testify in opposition to Bouterse.

Who’s President Bouterse?

After taking part in an lively function in a 1980 coup d’etat in opposition to Prime Minister Henck Arron, Bouterse was promoted to move of the military and made de facto chief of Suriname till 1987.

He later left the military to guide the Nationwide Democratic Occasion (NDP), which got here to energy in 2010.

The get together has repeatedly tried to halt this trial and 6 folks accused of being concerned have already died because it started 12 years in the past.

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In 2012, the Nationwide Meeting handed an amnesty regulation granting Bouterse immunity, which was later invalidated by a court docket ruling.

In 1999, Bouterse was convicted in absentia for drug trafficking by a court docket within the Netherlands – allegations he denies.