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Africa
Sep 13 2012 3:27PM
 
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A court in Gabon on Thursday sentenced 33 people detained since a violent illegal demonstration on August 15 to one year in prison for disturbing the peace.

The accused were jailed for 18 months, of which six months were a suspended sentence. Five other defendants were declared "not guilty with the benefit of the doubt", the chief judge told the hearing.

On August 15, clashes broke out between police and groups of demonstrators on the sidelines of a protest that was violently dispersed. It had been organised by the dissolved National Union (UN) opposition party, led by Andre Mba Obame, who was back in the country after 14 months' convalescence abroad.

The demonstrators notably called on President Ali Bongo to quit office.

According to the United Nations, one person died in the protest, an asthmatic young woman who reacted fatally to the tear gas. The authorities said that she died of natural causes. - Sapa-AFP

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