Four journalists have been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail each after a court found them guilty of threatening the security of the state.

The journalists in Burundi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Térence Mpozenzi and Egide Harerimana, were also fined one million Burundi francs ($530; £405) each.

According to BBC, the journalists who were from the Iwacu newspaper, were arrested alongside their in October.

On the reason for their arrest, it was disclosed that, they investigated the fight between government soldiers and a rebel group near the Congolese border.

As for the driver, he was acquitted by the court.

The journalists’ lawyer, after reacting to the court ruling stated that, they are surprised and will appeal against Thursday’s ruling.

Speaking to the BBC, Clement Retirakiza said, “We had given proof to the court that the journalists were simply doing their profession,”

As for Human Rights Watch, it said the four were prosecuted for doing their work.

Going memory lane on the arrest of journalists, it was recorded that, the EU parliament condemned the government of Burundi for “intimidating, violating and prosecuting without real charges on independent journalists, opposition and rights activists”, earlier this month.

 A similar development in the past was the banning of the Voice of America and the BBC have from broadcasting in Burundi since 2018.

In reaction to this, rights groups have accused  the Burundian government of oppressing the media.