A Chinese man who was filmed beating men who had been tied to a tree was on Tuesday sentenced to 20 years in prison for torture by a Rwandan court, BBC reported. The Chinese man, identified as Sun Shujun, is said to have been operating a mine in Rwanda’s Rutsiro district at the time of the incident.
A Rwandan man regarded as Shujun’s employee also received a 12-year sentence for abetting torture. The victims who were tied and beaten were Shujun’s former workers, and they had been accused of being involved in a theft incident.
The convicted Chinese national said he had initially passed a word of caution to thieves after his belongings got stolen on a number of occasions. The video of the alleged torture went viral in the East African nation after it was circulated in August 2021. Shujun was subsequently arrested in connection with the incident and released on bail afterward.
Angry workers were said to have filmed the incident and circulated it on social media. And witnesses who took the stand during the trial testified that the victims suspected of the theft were tied to a cross Shujun had erected before they were whipped.
Responding to the sentencing in a statement, the Chinese embassy in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali asked for a “fair and just manner” trial for Shujun, BBC reported. The Chinese national is likely to appeal his conviction.