A Chinese businessman in Rwanda has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for torture after he was filmed beating a local man in 2021, Associated Press and Agence France-Presse reported.
Sun Shujun, 43, the manager of a mine in the western part of the country, was seen on video repeatedly whipping a man tied to a pole.
A 45-second clip of that incident was widely shared online in 2021 and the case attracted widespread attention.
This video of a Chinese man torturing a black employee in Rwanda exposes fake anti-colonial rhetoric of grandstanders like ZANUPF.— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) September 1, 2021
Had this been a white man, they would have been shouting all day, but their subservience to China makes them not able to talk with food in the mouth pic.twitter.com/JOoqkoVqPU
The Chinese man appeared enraged and used a rope to flog a man lying face down on the ground and tied to a pole.
A small group of people in orange jackets looked on.
The mine produces cassiterite, the primary source of tin metal.
Chinese man accused of torture
Sun was accused by the prosecution of assaulting four people in total.
Judge Jacques Kanyarukiga called Sun's actions "a grave crime", and said in Rwanda court that it was clear the Chinese man “tortured the victims and issued corporal punishment with malicious intent”.
Sun was in court for the verdict.
A Rwandan man, Renzaho Alexis, was sentenced to 12 years' jail for being an accomplice in the beatings.
The Chinese man acknowledged assaulting two workers, but said he beat them as he was "frustrated" with them for "constantly stealing minerals".
Sun argued for his release and said in mitigation that he had compensated the two victims more than 1 million Rwanda francs (S$1,338) and signed a "reconciliation letter".
The prosecution countered that the victims accepted the compensation out of fear of Sun and they were traumatised by him.
Chinese embassy issues statement
In response to the verdict, the Chinese embassy in Rwanda issued a statement on April 20 urging Chinese citizens living in Rwanda to abide by local laws.
The spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda responds to media inquiries on the recent ruling regarding a Chinese citizen. See the picture below for full text: pic.twitter.com/ZCPKBLHavm— Chinese Embassy in Rwanda (@ChinaEmbinRW) April 20, 2022
Sun was handcuffed and taken away by guards after the verdict was issued.
He has up to 30 days to appeal.
He was previously free on bail.
Top photo via