The suspect in the recent murder was identified by the media as Emmanuel Abayisenga, who is also the main suspect in an arson attack July 2020 on the cathedral in Nantes, northwestern France.
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A source close to the case told Reuters that a suspect confessed to killing the priest and may be tied to the Nantes cathedral fire set in July 2020.
Jesuit Father Stan Swamy, who was a prominent advocate for for human rights, had been detained under India’s anti-terrorism law since October 2020.
Mali, a predominantly Muslim country with a population of 19.66 million people, has experienced a surge in violence involving both civilians and the military since 2012.
The country’s Catholic bishops issued a statement June 11 appealing for peace, a humanitarian corridor in the conflict zones, and respect for the sanctity of places of worship.
Citing sources close to the priest, local media reported that Father Hughes was not willing to pay the fine and was ready to be jailed rather than cease public worship.
On March 18, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni suspended religious and cultural gatherings for at least 32 days in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.