Mali: Activist Ras Bath Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison, Remains in Detention

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Ras Bath

The commentator Ras Bath has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, including nine months of actual imprisonment. Despite having served a year in detention, the Malian radio host and activist was convicted on charges including “association of wrongdoers” and “damaging the state’s reputation.” However, the Bamako Court of Appeal has decided to keep him detained.

Ras Bath, a prominent activist and spokesperson for the Collective for the Defense of the Republic, was arrested in March 2023 following statements he made during a meeting with the political party of former Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga, who died in detention a year earlier.

During the meeting, Ras Bath had alleged assassination, as the transitional authorities had refused to evacuate the former head of government to ensure his medical treatment.

Initially acquitted of charges of “simulating an offense” in the first instance, Ras Bath still faced charges of “association of wrongdoers” and “damaging the state’s reputation,” for which he was sentenced to nine months of actual imprisonment on Monday, March 11th.

Although Ras Bath has served a significant portion of his sentence, the Court of Appeal has decided to keep him behind bars.

According to a source close to the case, all requests for his release have consistently been denied because the radio host is still subject to a detention warrant issued by the investigating judge. Meanwhile, Ras Bath’s associates have consistently denounced the trial as politically motivated.


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