- Dési Bouterse was found guilty of shooting down lawyers, journalists and opposition union leaders in Paramaribo in 1982
- Dési Bouterse has been Suriname’s president since 2010, his party’s MP has tried to suppress the case several times.
Suriname President Dési Bouterse has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in a 37-year-old case. Paramaribo’s Court has found Dési Bouterse guilty of shooting 15 people, including lawyers, journalists, and opposition’s union leaders, in 1982. He is currently on an official visit to China. Dési Bouterse has two weeks to appeal against the sentence.
Who is Dési Bouterse?
Dési Bouterse played a key role in the 1980 military coup in Suriname against the then Prime Minister Henck Arron. For this he was first made the Army Chief and later was given the top rank of Suriname. He led the National Democratic Party (NDP) after the withdrawal of military rule. After winning the election in 2010, he became the President of the country.
MPs have also brought laws to protect Dési Bouterse
The court against Dési Bouterse began an investigation into murder charges 12 years ago. His party made several attempts to stop the hearing. During this time 6 accused of murder, who worked with the Dési Bouterse, died. In 2012, Parliament also passed legislation to protect the Dési Bouterse. However, the court dismissed the law as inoperative. A Netherlands court also convicted Dési Bouterse in a 1999 drug trafficking case. However, he denied the allegations.
Dési Bouterse have denied the allegations against him, saying that all those who died in 1982 were trying to escape from the fortress of Paramaribo. However, human rights organizations consider it part of a larger conspiracy.