Trial begins over death of Burkina Faso student

AP News
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Posted: Aug 22, 2011 11:24 AM
Trial begins over death of Burkina Faso student

Hundreds of students in Burkina Faso crowded into a courtroom to watch a trial over a student's death that sparked months of protests that left at least six dead.

Three policemen on Monday faced charges of aggravated assault over Justin Zongo's death in police custody in February.

This year's uprisings in the impoverished West African nation began in late February when students in Koudougou protested over accusations that Zongo had been mistreated while in custody. The government said he had meningitis.

The unrest spread across Burkina Faso. Soldiers started a mutiny that threatened President Blaise Compaore's 24-year rule. Compaore tried to stem the unrest by dissolving the government and removing the country's security chiefs. Experts say hostilities in Burkina Faso have been simmering for a long time.