Social Media Is Doodling On Pictures of Burundi's President In Support of Arrested Schoolgirls
Folks online are using the hashtag #FreeOurGirls to remind Burundi's president that scribbling is not a crime.
Last week, three Burundian schoolgirls were taken into custody after doodling on a picture of President Pierre Nkurunziza in their textbooks. The girls, all under the age of 18, face up to five years in prison for the act.
Now folks on social media are rallying behind the girls, using the hashtag #FreeOurGirls. People are not only voicing their unwavering support for the young girls against the heavy hand of the president, they're also using it as an opportunity to share pictures of the president with their own doodles.
In true elementary form, some images show the president with playfully drawn-on mustaches, hats and hair. One of the more creative doodles shows the president with a curled mustached and a short blue wig on.
Hey @pnkurunziza, looking good. SCRIBBLING IS NOT A CRIME - FREE THOSE GIRLS #Burundi #FreeOurGirls https://t.co/Z8SD0vfLuJ— Lomé Raumay (@Lomé Raumay)1553292506.0
Authorities had initially arrested seven schoolchildren total who were accused of defacing images of the president. Four of the children were subsequently released, while the three schoolgirls are awaiting trial.
This was only the most recent instance of children being harshly punished for "defacing" the image of the president. In 2016, 11 students were arrested for doing the same, and several children have been expelled after doing so in the past.
Over the weekend, social media users began to lambast the Burundian president for his actions, causing #FreeOurGirls to being trending in the country.
@landrysibo @pnkurunziza @pnininahazwe I won't shut it: #FreeOurGirls! Yes, it's worldwide. Top #Burundi news… https://t.co/sXr4aP3Hvt— Thierry Uwamahoro (@Thierry Uwamahoro)1553356700.0
The doodles point out how outright absurd it is for children to be arrested for what amount to nothing more than harmless childhood antics.
Act like a Lamb (Children) doodle Nkurunziza #FreeOurGirls https://t.co/Jb5b92dl2Y— Sindumuja Musaga (@Sindumuja Musaga)1553336422.0
#Burundi—Three schoolgirls are still arbitrarily detained by @BurundiGov at some 50 km away from their family.… https://t.co/fqcmkkyVxl— iBurundi (@iBurundi)1553289087.0
You want to imprison school girls? How about you dress like one instead, homme enfantin? @pnkurunziza #Burundi… https://t.co/QiJBcdQSqj— Lomé Raumay (@Lomé Raumay)1553294713.0
#FreeOurGirls Doodling is not a crime! Kumcora Nkurunziza siyo crime! 3 girls risk 5YR detention 4 doodling on N… https://t.co/Yh67IGPqcQ— Ubuntu Peace (@Ubuntu Peace)1553505814.0