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SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI

REPORT N0.41 SOS-TORTURE CAMPAIGN / BURUNDI PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 24th, 2016

25 Septembre 2016 , Rédigé par DDH-Burundais

REPORT N0.41 SOS-TORTURE CAMPAIGN / BURUNDI PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 24th, 2016

This SOS-Torture Campaign report of 17th to 24th September 2016, the campaign evokes the arbitrary arrests that continue to intensify.

At least thirty-six (36) were arrested during raid operations conducted by the police and the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Among these persons fourteen (14) No Commissioned Officers (ONCs) former Burundian armed forces "EX FAB" were illegally arrested by NIS agents and charged a week after the arrests for endangering the internal security of the state and involvement armed groups. All were transferred from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to the central prison of Ngozi.

Among the victims of arbitrary arrests, the SOS-Torture Campaign also counts twenty (20) civilians including activists of an opposition party FNL.

The Campaign also talks about the tragic case of Warrant Officer Eddy Claude Nyongera arrested in the same case as of the fourteen (14) fellow No Commissioned Officers. He was buried by his family when the prosecutor hasn't yet opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of his death in the premises of the National Intelligence Service. The body of this NCO shows mutilation, which is not due, presumably, the grenade would have served his suicide as the police said.

The report also mentions six bodies discovered in rivers: Rusizi and Mubarazi. Only one among the persons discovered has been identified, the administration hastened to bury the victims. That probably justifies extrajudicial executions and bodies are thrown whether in rivers or in mass graves.

  1. The Warrant officer Nyongera buried without prior investigation.

In the previous report of SOS-Torture/Burundi (Report No.40: http://sostortureburundi.over-blog.com/sos-torture-burundi-nume-ro-40-version-francaise), it mentioned a very worrying case of a non-commissioned officer of the Burundian army, Warrant officer Eddy Nyongera Claude, died in the premises of Burundian national service on September 14th, 2016.

Warrant Officer Eddy Claude Nyongera

After his death, the police had hastened to declare the death by suicide with a grenade during an interrogation. A version doubted by several sources within the security forces.

Especially as the agents of the same national intelligent service deposited the lifeless body of the Warrant Officer in the morgue of the King Khaled Hospital declaring and naming it “Unknown”.

The none commissioned officer of the army was buried on September 23th, 2016 by his family after days of struggle to get the body of the deceased and the death certificate. He was a native of Kabuye hill in the urban center of Bururi province (south of the country). The SOS-Torture Campaign/Burundi notes that the National Intelligence Service declined to respond to family demands. Other surprising facts, the death certificate issued by the administration contradictorily evokes a death at home, which also caused doubts about the version of the national police.

The General Prosecutor of the Republic, which was seized earlier this week by the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (CNIDH) conducted no investigation to determine to date the death circumstances of the Warrant Officer Eddy Claude Nyongera. Relatives of the family confirmed that the NCO was tortured in view of numerous injuries that present the body of the victim.

The following pictures show the body of Warrant officer Nyongera as it was taken secretly by agents of the National Intelligence Service in the morgue of Roi Khaled Hospital, a public hospital in Bujumbura. They are extremely sensitive, but the analysis of the body indicates that the NCO was amputated wrist.

PAY ATTENTION SHOCKING IMAGES BELOW !!!

This again created doubt on the version of the national police who certifies that he died by suicide with grenades. The body of this NCO presented mutilations, which are not due; presumably, the grenade would have served his suicide as the police said.

The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi reiterates its request for an investigation to know the truth about the death of the NCO who might be a victim of summary execution. The events of this week show that the intelligence service has information that could help the prosecution in its investigations.

2. Arbitrary arrests, abductions and forced disappearances continue

- During the arrest of Warrant Officer Eddy Claude Nyongera (point 1 of this report), other non-commissioned officers were arrested the same day, September 14th, 2016 and the days that followed.

The SOS-Torture Campaign /Burundi has identified fifteen (15) arrested soldiers, who are no more than fourteen (14) after the death of Warrant Officer Nyongera. They were all transferred on 22th September 2016 from Bujumbura to Ngozi Central Prison (north of the country). It is Mukaza prosecution service (center of Bujumbura) which has indicted them, a week after the arrest and detenained them in NIS custody for 'participation in armed groups and 'Attack on the internal security of the state'. Mukaza Prosecution service has indicted them under the RMP 181/195 folder.

Here is the list (names and ranks) of arrested militaries:

  • Warrant Officer Claude Nyongera Eddy, arrested on September 14th, 2016 by the military police and transferred to the premises of the Intelligence Service where he died the same day. He was assigned to the transmissions services of the General Staff of the army.
  • BPP1 Girukwishaka Innocent (police officer).
  • Warrant Officer NgirimanaHerménegilde.
  • Chief Warrant Officer Albert Kitaburaza.
  • BPP1 Claver Ndayizeye.(Police Officer)
  • Warrant officer Gahungu Thaddeus.
  • Warrant officer Masabo Ferdinand
  • BPP2 Bigirimana Anicet
  • APC Ciza Christophe
  • 1st Sergeant François Ngendakumana
  • Corporal Pascal Nshimirimana
  • Corporal Nsabimana Célestin
  • APC MayoyaRévérien
  • APC Ndikuriyo Basile
  • APC Nyandwi Félix

All these NCOs both the army and the police are from the former Burundian Armed Forces (FAB) before their merger with rebel groups to form the current National Defense Force (NDF) .The SOS-Torture Campaign / Burundi noted that harassment of military and police officers from the old army has not abated. Before the NCOs, are the officers who had been harassed, arbitrarily arrested, tortured and sometimes murdered?

Other members of the national defense forces were arrested during the week:

  • Warrant Adronis Nduwayo, a sergeant of the army, was arrested September on 19th, 2016 at the military post of Ryansoro, Gitega province. He was taken to the custody of the military police in Bujumbura on the orders of the Chief Commander of the 2nd military region. Relatives say he was transferred to the custody of the National Intelligence Service on September 21th, 2016.
  • OPC1 Alexis Hakizimana, an officer of the National Police, arrested on September 22th, 2016 by the police. He was at the office of the Directorate General of the National Police located in of Ngagara9 quarter where he works. He is also from the former Burundian Armed Forces (FAB) specifically for the Police.

Police Officer Alexis Hakizimana

- Police agents arrested three young men on Nyakigano hillMugamba commune, Bururi province (south the country) on 17th September 2016. These ones are Rémy Nkurunziza and Evariste Ndayikengurukiye. And another young man. Witnesses reported that they were arrested without warrants and outside of regular hours as it was then at 4:00 in the morning while the law authorizes the arrest between six (6:00 AM)and 6:00 PM. The same agents arrested André Hajayandi a chief ofMubira Hilllocatedin Nyagasasa zone.

Those persons are being investigated on assassination of Dismas Bashirahishize nicknamed 'Bitama' killed together with his wife and child on14th September 2016 on Munini hillMugamba commune (see report SOS-Torture/Burundi No.40: ).

SOS-Torture Campaign/ Burundi Mugamba found that Mugamba police station do not have tangible and irrefutable evidence for their guilt. . This is arbitrary arrests. Moreover, Peter Nimpagaritse, the father of one of the young men came to inquire about the reasons for the imprisonment of her son who was also arrested during the day of September 17th, 2016.

It is only the next day, September 18th, 2016, that these people were released for lack of evidence against them, except for one of the three young men. The SOS-Torture/Burundi requests his release because the police failed to produce evidence of involvement in this crime.

- The Police also arrested two other people on 18th September 2016 on Mubira hill Mugamba commune, Bururi province as part of the investigation of the murder of three members of the same family occurred a few days earlier. This brings to three the number of people still in detention for this case. No warrant has also been presented at their arrests.

- Military agents arrested a young lady known as Francine Niyomwungere in Rusabagi zone, Burambi commune, Rumonge province (south of the country) on 15th September 2016. Witnesses indicate that no warrant was presented to the concerned.

SOS-Torture Campaign/Burundi wishes to clarify that in addition, the military is not authorized to carry out arrests of civilians, a role assigned to the police. Ms. Niyomwungere was also imprisoned in the house of the head of the National Intelligence Service at Rumonge province. This is illegal because it is not an authorized place of detention. Besides the arbitrary arrest, the police of Rumonge has official custody that could accommodate the victim.

Also, the young woman was arrested in default of her husband that the SNR search for involvement in armed groups. SOS Torture Campaign calls for the immediate and unconditional release of this lady because the Burundian constitution and the penal state clearly that criminal liability is personal and that no one is punishable except on his own acts.

- Military and police agents arrested Godeliève Nkezimana and Fleury Niyonkomezi on September 17th, 2016 on Bukeye hill Nyanza Lac commune, Makamba province (south of the country). The two people are members of the opposition party FNL of Agathon Rwasa, current vice president of the Burundian National Assembly. Witnesses report that they are accused of involvement in rebel groups.

No warrant was presented during the arrests. After a night in jail in Nyanza-lac, the two persons were handed over to agents of the National Intelligence Service who transferred them to the city of Bujumbura September 18th, 2016.

- The police officers arrested Claudine Hakizimana on Gitaramuka hill Murago zone, Burambi commune, Rumonge province (south of the country) on 17th September 2016. Witnesses indicate that his house was searched by police agents who were looking for guns but found nothing. She was taken to the custody of the Burambi commune.

This is the second arrest for Mrs. Hakizimana who was first arrested July 8th, 2016 after the police claimed to have discovered a hidden gun in his fields. At that time, the husband of Mrs. Hakizimana who was wanted (see SOS-Torture report / Burundi No. 30: ). SOS-Torture Campaign finds harassment by arbitrary arrests done by police agents on a mother, failing to stop her husband.

- Police agents arrested two members of opposition party FNL of Agathon Rwasa in Busoni commune, Kirundo province (north of the country) on September 21th, 2016. These are Rémégie Uwimana, president of the FNL of Agathon Rwasa in Busoni commune and Gaspard Mutabazi representing the party in the Murore Zone, Busoni commune. Relatives indicate that the two men are victims of having refused to contribute financially to the ruling party CNDD-FDD during a fundraiser conducted in whole country on September 10th, 2016.

Both politicians at local level are arbitrarily arrested because they refused to join or contribute to the ruling party. The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi notes that several members of opposition parties, especially FNL, are regularly arrested for the same reasons that do not constitute an offense.

- Police agents arrested ten people in Gitaramuka quarter, Musaga zone (south of Bujumbura) on 22th September 2016. The police agents had previously conducted a roundup of dozens of people for control of 'notebooks of households', a document required since some months by the administration and containing the names and identities of the occupants of each household. This document is not governed by any law in Burundi.

- Police agents arrested Jean Claude Ndikuriyo on September 22th, 2016 at Kibumbu, Kayokwe commune, Mwaro province (central of the country). Relatives say that the young man went home to his father's funeral. He was moved out of a bus carrying him. No warrant was presented during his arrest by police agents.

3. Murder, summary executions and armed attacks listed

- Five bodies floating in the Rusizi River were discovered on September 15th, 2016 at the border of Lake Tanganyika in the Gatumba zone Mutimbuzi commune, Bujumbura province (west of the country). The bodies found are all men among them Bosco Ngendakumana identified by his family. Ngendakumana was seen last September 11th, 2016 in the Gatumba Zone where he lived.

The SOS-Torture Campaign/ Burundi notes that these are new cases of extrajudicial executions whose perpetrators are unknown. The objective seems to be disappearance of the body or at least hiding the crime scene. The victims were buried without forensic expertise to learn more about the cause of death or the identity of the four remaining men.

There are some days, two other bodies, a man and a woman, were floatinginto the same river Rusizi, in the Rusiga sector Rugombo commune, Cibitoke province (west of the country) on September 6th, 2016. The two victims have not been identified, nor the exact circumstances of their death (cf. SOS-Torture report / Burundi No. 39: )

- A grenade attack took place on September 19th, 2016 in Bwiza zone Mukaza Commune (center of Bujumbura). The author of the attack is unknown and did not cause victims. In recent months, no grenade attack in Bujumbura had been listed in contrast to periods between February and May 2016 (see SOS-Torture reports / Burundi No. 9, No. 22

- The body of a man was found floating on the river Mubarazi on September 20th, 2016, between theBusimba and Burambana hills, Muramvya commune, Muramvya province (central of the country) .Des witnesses report he was in advanced state of decomposition, with neck injuries.

The administration has immediately proceeded to the funeral of the victim, without having identified. There are a few weeks; two more bodies were recovered from the river Mubarazi few days after the forced disappearance of journalist Jean Bigirimana of the Press Group Iwacu in Bugarama Zone, Muramvya commune. The two previously discovered bodies were weighted down with large stones to try to make them disappear in the water. They have never been identified and were also buried by the administration (see report SOS-Torture Burundi 35:

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