REPORT N0 46 OF SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI PUBLISHED ON 29TH OCTOBER 2016
REPORT N0 46 OF SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI PUBLISHED ON 29TH OCTOBER 2016
This SOS-Torture report covers the period ranging between 22th to 29th October 2016
The report evokes the arbitrary arrests listed during the week. Among these arrests are reiterated members of the opposition party FNL (National Liberation Front) led by the current Vice President of the National Assembly Agathon Rwasa. At least four militants of FNL were arrested during the week. Among them, a young man who was beaten by militiamen 'Imbonerakure' before being arrested by the police.
SOS-Torture Burundi also talks about enforced disappearance of a soldier of the Burundian army. Chief Corporal Ernest Bagayuwitunze is traceless since October 23th, 2016; not foundable in the official custody.
The report also mentions the scandalous decision of the Government to remove and suspend the main organizations of civil society in Burundi and the Burundian Union of Journalists. Among the suspended associations include SOS-Torture Burundi, which however has not requested accreditation in Burundi.
- The Ministry of Internal affairs has written off and suspended key civil society in Burundi
SOS Torture Burundi condemns in the strongest terms the provisional suspension and final removal of certain organizations of civil society including SOS-Torture Burundi wich did not seek approval from the Ministry. These measures are part of a context of harassment of human rights defenders and all this undermines the freedom of association of Human Right defenders.
These organizations are accused by the Ministry to carry out activities that are not in accordance with their instructions goals in their statutes but are rather to disrupt order and state security.
SOS-Torture / Burundi and other organizations affected by these measures undertake to continue to investigate on violations of human rights and advocate for the population.
- The Police arrested two journalists on October 23th, 2016 in Mutakura Quarter Buterere Zone (north of Bujumbura). This is Julia Steers US citizen and journalist Gildas Yihundimpundu a Burundian, who were reporting near a location where the police claimed to have discovered a few months ago a mass grave at the 9th Avenue in the same quarter.(see SOS-Torture Burundi report N°12:
The American journalist was released the same day and returned to his embassy. The Burundian journalist Gildas Yihundimpundu together with their driver were imprisoned in the custody of the national intelligence service for several hours before being released the next day. SOS-Torture/Burundi deplores the continued harassment of journalists. This inquiry was motivated by the police by charges of 'attempt destruction of evidence of the mass grave'; but these accusations are baseless and had as objective to prevent further investigative work of journalists.
- A soldier of the Burundian army has been disappeared since 23th October 2016. This is Chief Corporal Ernest Bagayuwitunze of 76820 Registration number assigned to Gakumbu military camp (about ten kilometers in the west of Bujumbura).
Relatives say that this soldier was seen for the last time to the Gakumbu camp and he was following a medical training. A search was conducted in the police cells and the National Intelligence Service; but Chief Corporal Bagayuwitunze is not yet found.
SOS-Torture Burundi fears a new forced disappearance of a member of the security forces who are often victims of such practices but also of targeted assassinations and arbitrary arrests. The soldier joined the rebel movement Palipehutu-FNL before incorporating the army after the cease-fire between the rebels and the government of the day. Chief Corporal Ernest Bagayuwitunze is married with two children.
Chief Caporal Ernest Bagayuwitunze, disappeared since 23th october 2016
- Police agents conducted raids in Musaga quarter (south of Bujumbura) on October 26th, 2016. Over a hundred persons have been gathered since early morning and expected to remain there for hours. Witnesses indicate that the operation was intended to identify persons by 'notebooks household', the documents required by the administration since the beginning of the crisis particularly in neighborhoods that have demonstrated against the third term of the President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza and which are governed by any Burundian law until now, constituting a means of harassment against the people of deprived quarters considered protesters of the third term of the Burundian president. These operations aimed at extorting money from the people, forced to pay police agents at each arbitrary arrest.
- Youth militia league 'Imbonerakure' tortured a member of the opposition party National Liberation Front (FNL) led by Agathon Rwasa, current Vice President of the National Assembly, in the Buhiga commune, Karuzi province (Centre- East of the country). The victim is Viateur Niyongere. Police agents subsequently arrested and imprisoned the young man without allowing him to be cared for suffered beatings.
SOS-Torture Burundi denounces an arbitrary arrest of a victim of torture without any warrant. Youth militias of the ruling party CNDD-FDD was not prosecuted for their actions and is free to move. This is a complicity of the security forces with militiamen who are attacking civilians and non armed.
- The police agents arrested a political leader of the opposition FNL (National Liberation Front) in Ruyaga zone Kanyosha Commune, Bujumbura Province, his son and another member of the family of 27th October 2016.
She is Pascasie Ndabihawenimana responsible for Kanyosha, Nyabiraba and Mugongo Manga commune on behalf of FNL. Relatives within the FNL indicate that Ms. Ndabihawenimana is a victim of his political beliefs and her place in local authoroties of the party. She is imprisoned with his son Nitunga Egide and his brother Titus Barumbanze; but the police did not provided any warrant for their arrests.
SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the abuses targeting opposition activists including the FNL are continually since the beginning of the crisis. Ms. Ndabihawenimana is aged 65 and is in bad health conditions as well as his brother aged 70 detained without legal grounds.
- Agents of the National Intelligence Service arrested a young man named Igor Manirakiza to Ruhwa in Cibitoke province (north-west of the country) on the border between Burundi and Rwanda on 27th October 2016. This young man is a resident of Musaga Quarter (south of Bujumbura) considered to be a protester of the third term of President of Burundi.
The young man was detained in a cell of the police but was subsequently shipped by agents of the National Intelligence Service to an unknown location. SOS-Torture Burundi requested that the police communicate his place of detention.
Igor Manirakiza, a young boy arrested at Burundi-Rwanda Frontier
3. Killings, summary executions and armed attacks listed
- Police agents wounded an none armed civilian Thaddé Ndayihereje in Matana commune, Bururi province (south of the country) on 19th October 2016. Relatives of the family reported that police entered into the home of Mr. Ndayihereje during the night to try to steal her money. The victim was seriously injured by the police agents led by the Chief police of Matana.
SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the police violated the victim's home, claiming search for weapons, but had no search warrant or the right to conduct an illegal search at 2: 00 in the morning. None of the police agents present during the operation were arrested while they fired on a none armed civilian.
- An armed group killed a young man named MoiseTuyishemeze on the evening of 24th October 2016 on the Gisovu hill Kiyenzi zone, Kanyosha commune in Bujumbura province. The Police arrested a suspect.
- A body of a man was found in a field between the Muhira and Nkoroka hills, Buhiga commune, Karuzi province (Centre- East of the country). He is a man named Ezekiel Habarugira murdered by strangers.