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Burkina Faso cybercrime police arrests businessman for issuing death threats to journalist

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The Cybercrime Police in Burkina Faso has arrested a businessman for allegedly making death threats against one of the leading journalists in the West African country on social media, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to a report by the Cybercrime Brigade of the Burkinese Police, the 35-year-old trader had issued “defamatory threats, inciting violence against the person of Mr Newton Ahmed Barry, as well as the destruction of his private goods.

The accused had allegedly recorded a voicenote on WhatsApp where he allegedly told some people “Go and burn his house, raze his home completely, gather up the sand that’s left and leave the land empty,” referring to the prominent journalist.

“The journalist is called a terrorist who does not deserve to live,” the police statement said, adding that the suspect had admitted to making the recording.

A local media in the African country reported that it was unclear why the death threats were made against Barry who was “a star state television reporter in the 1980s and former editor-in-chief of an investigative publication.”

He quit as a television presenter after the 1998 murder of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo and three of his colleagues were found riddled with bullets in a burned-out car, and became a staunch critic of the regime of President Blaise Compaore.

He was later appointed to head Burkina’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) after the president’s removal in 2014 but resigned last year and once again became critical of the country and government, enjoying a strong following on social media.

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Inflation rate rise to all time high at 9.6% in Algeria in three years

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For the first time in three years, the inflation rate in Algeria has risen to an all time high of 9.6 per cent at the end of August, in what economists in the North African country say is as a result of rise in the prices of basic commodities globally and its impact on local markets.

The Deputy Director-General of the Algerian National Office of Statistics, Hamid Zaydouni, who disclosed this during a hearing at the Finance Committee of the People’s National Assembly on Thursday, said Algerian market recorded an inflation rate of 7.23 per cent during 2021, the highest in nearly three years.

“Algeria is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the prices of various products, some of which have increased by more than 100 per cent, amid warnings by consumer protection associations that the rise would weaken people’s purchasing power,” Zaydouni said.

“Over the past three years, the inflation rate in Algeria ranged between 3.5 and 7.5 per cent.

“The high prices have affected subsidised goods such as cooking oils, semolina and farina,” he added.

Zaydouni added that from 2021, the inflation rate of 7.2% was calculated but the average inflation rate has been 8.8% per year since then.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2019, most African countries have been on the threshold of rising inflation as global economy had experienced enormous pressure.

The war between Russia and Ukraine which broke out in February has also contributed to the economic crisis in the continent with inflation growing at an alarming rate, often forcing countries to raise interest rates, hoping to slow down the inflation which has continued to rise to all time high.

According to statista.com, the “overall inflation rate in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 is expected to grow today whopping 12.2 percent, with the surge following a global tendency, as consumer prices soar all over the world, impacting advanced as well as emerging and developing economies.”

As at August, Sudan had the highest inflation in Africa as of 2022 with the rate reaching 245 percent.

Sudan is closely followed by Zimbabwe with the second-highest inflation on the African continent, averaging 90 percent.

Countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, amongst others have had to raise their interest rates at some point due to inflation.

 

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Egyptian police officers jailed six years for torturing man to death

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Two Egyptian policemen who tortured a civilian to death in their custody have been sentenced to six years in prison by a court on Thursday.

The convicts were found guilty of murdering Mahmoud Khamis Gaber while he was in police custody, by a Minya Criminal Court which also heard that the torture included electric shocks and sexual abuse on the victim in 2019.

The victim’s lawyer told the court that Gaber was arrested after public prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him following accusations that he possessed a firearm and ammunition without a licence.

The court was told that he was tortured to death in an effort to get him to confess to the possession of an unlicensed weapon.

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