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SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI

REPORT No.43 OF THE CAMPAIGN SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI PRODUCED ON OCTOBER 8TH, 2016

9 Octobre 2016 , Rédigé par DDH-Burundais

REPORT No.43 OF THE CAMPAIGN SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI PRODUCED ON OCTOBER 8TH, 2016

REPORT No.43 OF THE CAMPAIGN SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI PRODUCED ON OCTOBER 8TH, 2016

In this report of SOS-Torture of October 1st to 8th, 2016, the campaign evokes the arbitrary arrests and assassinations that its observers have been able to identify during this period.

At least twenty-nine (29) persons were arrested by the police and the National Intelligence Service (SNR). Among them, ten people were arrested in the same house by police agents in Mutakura. About a week after detention at SNR, they still have not yet appeared before a magistrate.

Arbitrary arrests also involve two members of an opposition political party FNL. The party activists are particularly victims of arrests and other human rights violations. The Campaign SOS-Torture Burundi could list at least sixty-nine (69) FNL activists’ victims of their political membership in a period not less than one month (August-September 2016)

Arbitrary arrests are justified by the police and the SNR by security disturbance charges of endangering the internal security of the state or participation in armed groups. These charges are very vague and are never accompanied by tangible evidences.

The report also mentions the release of two persons detained by the National Intelligence Service: the businessman Gideon Gihaga and the political opponent Gervais Niyongabo.

In this report, the SOS-Torture Burundi campaign give the point with a former ICC trainee lawyer Me Gustave Niyonzima on the Burundian government will to withdraw from the Rome Statute governing the International Criminal Court.

1. Arbitrary arrests, abductions and forced disappearances continue

- The police agents arrested Gerard Muntunuwundi at Muyinga province (north-east of the country) on 24th September 2016. Witnesses report that Mr. Muntunuwundi was brutally beaten by the police agents attempting to arrest him.

The victim is a local business man and was hospitalized following the beatings and wounds received. The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi denounces police brutality who uses torture to stop civilians and defenseless. In addition to being tortured, Muntunuwundi was arrested just at the hospital discharge while he had not yet recovered from the beating. No arrest warrant was presented to the victim who is incarcerated at the police Muyinga.

- Police officers arrested Aimable Manirakizaon 30th September 2016 in Nyakabiga III quarter (Bujumbura center) at 9th Avenue. Manirakiza is a student of the Applied Pedagogical Institute of the University of Burundi. Witnesses indicate that the police were traveling in a van and they were accompanied by men in civilian uniform and armed with guns, which do not allow identifying whether they are police or civilians.

Aimable Manirakiza, student of University Burundi atIPA

- The National Intelligence Service and police agents have arrested ten persons in the Mutakura quarter, Cibitoke Zone (north of Bujumbura) in the evening of October 2th, 2016. Witnesses reported that those arrested were involved in a meeting of their cells prayer in a house on 9th Avenue. Moreover, among those arrested include a journalist named Salvator Nahimana of Maria-Burundi radio belonging to the Catholic Church. Others arrested that day are: Peter Nimubona, Ruvugana Josée (F), Yamuremye Chantal (F), Ndayishimiye Thomas, NdikumanaSelemani, Nyandwi Jean Marie, Migero Polycarp Yombere Déo, Ndayizigiye Dionèse

The journalist Salvator Nahimana detained in NIS with 9 other persons

They are detaine in the custody of the National Intelligence Service in Bujumbura.

No warrant was presented to those arrested; the police simply communicate that the meeting aimed at "disrupting security '. The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi notes that the police and the SNR are using more and more infringements' of endangering the internal security of the state 'to' participation in armed bands' or 'disturbance of security 'to make abusive arrests. These charges are very vague and are not accompanied by tangible and irrefutable evidence that could justify the arrests.

On 7th October 2016 the ten persons arrested at Mutakura were to appear before the magistrate of the prosecution of Ntahangwa (north of Bujumbura) but they were informed at the last minute that the appearance is postponed to another date that their will be communicated and this after six days of detention at the national intelligence service and this without any explanation for the postponement.

- The police officers arrested Eliezer Ndayishimiye in Ruyigi province (eastern of the country) on 2nd October 2016. Witnesses reported that the police were accompanied by members of the militia 'Imbonerakure' of the ruling CNDD-FDD. He was incarcerated in the Ruyigi prison.

This man is a responsible of opposition political party. He is a member of the executive committee of FNL party led by Agathon Rwasa (current Vice President of the National Assembly) in Buyogoma region. Again, police agents pretext of security disturbance as a reason for his arrest which appears much more politically motivated. FNL activists are regularly subjected to arbitrary arrest.

- The police agents also arrested Banyunga Etienne, another activist of the opposition party FNL pro AgathonRwasa. The arrest took place on the evening of October 3th, 2016 in Muyinga province (north of the country).

The reasons for the arrest were not communicated to the concerned. The police had summoned Mr. Banyunga who answered the summons. He was incarcerated in the police after interrogation.

- Police agents conducted a raid in the Cibitoke area (north of Bujumbura) on 5th October 2016. At least fifteen people, mostly young men, were arrested and taken to the District Police Custody. Witnesses indicate that the police claimed to find 'armed fighters'.

SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi rather denounces extortion operations by police agents. Being unable to prove that young men arrested are armed fighters, police agents accused them of not being enrolled in the 'books Household', a document required in the Bujumbura quarters where should be mentioned the names and identities of the occupants of each household. This document is governed by any Burundian law and becomes a pretext for arbitrary arrests and extortion. Each of the fifteen people had to pay ten thousand Burundian Francs (BIF 10,000) to be released.

2. A very worrying situation of FNL political prisoners

The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi reported regularly abusive arrests suffered by the civilian population. The situation is particularly worrying for members of opposition parties in several localities of the country.

Most affected by the arbitrary arrest and detention are the activists of the political party "National Liberation Front (FNL). In the espace from August 28th to September 15th, 2016, at least seventy-nine (69) activists of FNL led by Agathon Rwasa were arrested, persecuted, tortured or forced to flee.

Here's the detailed situation of each of the victims of these violations:

Name and surname

Hill

Commune

Province

Situation

Arrest date or facts of violation of Human Rights

1

Citeretse Christian

Rusengo

Gashikanwa

Ngozi

Temporary freedom

28/08/2016

2

Ndayishimiye Adolphe

Rusengo

Gashikanwa

Ngozi

Temporary freedom

28 /08/2016

3

MpawenayoStany

Rusengo

Marangara

Ngozi

Released

22/08/2016

4

Karenzo Julien

Rusengo

Nyamurenza

Ngozi

Tortured

17/08/2016

5

Ndarigendereko Eugène

Ntiba

Ruhororo

Ngozi

kidnapped

5/09/2016

6

Nshimirimana Claver

Ciri

Kiremba

Ngozi

Emprisoned

5/09/2016

7

Minani Nestor

Ruhama

Kiremba

Ngozi

Emprisoned at Ngozi

20/08/2016

8

Nahingejeje Eric

Ruhama

Kiremba

Ngozi

Emprisoned at Ngozi

20/08/2016

9

Ndihokubwayo Gratien

Ruhama

Kiremba

Ngozi

Emprisoned at Ngozi

20/08/ 2016

10

RiberakuroraDéo

Marangara

Ngozi

Arrested

01/08/ 2016

11

Ntezicimpa Daniel et son fils David

Marangara

Ngozi

escaped

01/08/2016

12

Hubatsimana alias Rasta

Marangara

Ngozi

escaped

13

Nduwayezu Aimable

Marangara

Ngozi

escped

14

Minani Paul

Marangara

Ngozi

hidden

15

Musisi Elias

Marangara

Ngozi

hidden

16

Ngozi Jean-Marie

Marangara

Ngozi

hidden

17

Nahimana André

Marangara

Ngozi

hidden

18

Niyonzima Innocent

Nyambuye

Isale

Bujumbura

kidnapped

27/08/2016

19

Havyarimana André

Muhororo

Mubimbi

Bujumbura

Temporary free

26/08/ 2016

20

NshimirimanaAmatus

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

released

27/08/2016

21

Ndakoraniwe Thomas

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

released

27/08/2016

22

Haksa

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

released

27/08/2016

23

Girukwishaka Gérard

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

released

27/08/2016

24

Harerimana François

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

released

27/08/2016

25

Maregeya Christophe

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

Appelant, his house burned

24/08/2016

26

Ndinzemenshi

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

Escaped

24/08/2016

27

Mbonimpa André

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

Released

24/08/2016

28

Bambonaniye Fabien

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

Released

24/08/2016

29

Harimenshi Alexandre

Buhomba

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

Tortured and constraint to flee

25/08/2016

30

Ngomirakiza Elie

Maramvya

Mutimbuzi

Bujumbura

Escaped

24/08/2016

32

Ntacoyampaye Ferdinand

Gihogazi

Karusi

Released

24/08/2016

33

Sinzobakwira David

Gihogazi

Karusi

Released

24/08/2016

34

Nsekerabandya Hilaire

Maramvya

Nyabikere

Karusi

Released

24/08/2016

35

Ndayizigamiye Félix

Rusagara

Gitaramuka

Karusi

Attempt of assassination

14/08/2016

36

BatakanwaAnanias

Gihogazi

Karusi

Released

25/08/016

37

Nduwimana Ernest

Gihogazi

Karusi

Released

25/08/2016

38

Karari Isaac

Gisagara

Cankuzo

Released

31/08/2016

39

Nyabenda Jérémie

Gisagara

Cankuzo

Released

31/08/2016

40

NyamweruSuavis(F)

Gisagara

Cankuzo

Released

31/08/2016

41

Niyongabo Cyrille

Gisagara

Cankuzo

Released

31/08/2016

42

Bucumi Vital

Gisagara

Cankuzo

Moral harassament

31/08/2016

44

Nzeyimana Bernard

Gisagara

Cankuzo

Moral harassament

31/08/2016

45

Mugara Jonas

Gisagara

Cankuzo

Has escaped when remain with handcuffs

31/08/2016

46

Bigirimana Nicolas

Kinyinya

Ruyigi

Released

20/08/2016

47

Manirambona Charles

Kinyinya

Ruyigi

Hidden

23/08/2016

48

Ndayishimiye Alexis

Kinyinya

Ruyigi

Hidden

23/08/2016

49

Nyabenda Mathias

Butihinda

Muyinga

Assassinated

23/08/2016

50

Ntabahungu

Kivumu

Gitobe

Kirundo

Assassinated

10/09/2016

51

KaroreroPatricie

Kivumu

Gitobe

Kirundo

Arrsted

10/09/2016

52

BuguruguDéo

Ntega

Kirundo

Arrested

10/09/2016

53

Nyandwi Frédéric

Kigarama

Butaganzwa

Kayanza

Emprisoned

20/08/2016

54

Nshimirimana Adalbert

Banga

Matongo

Kayanza

Emprisoned

23/08/2016

55

Bigirimana Stève

Banga

Matongo

Kayanza

Released

23/08/2016

56

Ndihokubwayo Claude

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitéga

Beaten then hospilised

14/09/2016

57

Barankenyereye Salvator

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Arrested

14/09/2016

58

Havyarimana Pierre

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Arrested

14/09/2016

59

KibinakanwaRodrique

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Arrested

14/09/2016

60

Masabo Elie

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Arrested

14/09/2016

61

HarimenshiGerard

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Arrested

14/09/2016

62

Ngendakumana Jérémie

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Beaten then hospilised

14/09/2016

63

Nshimirimana Désiré

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Beaten then hospilised

14/09/2016

64

Ndayisenga Antoine

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Beaten then hospilised

14/09/2016

65

Ndayikengurukiye Jérôme

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Arrested

14/09/2016

66

Nemerimana Nelly (F)

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Arrested

14/09/2016

67

Ndayisaba Nestor

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Beaten then hospilised

14/09/2016

68

NzeyimanaAudacie(F)

Rurengera

Mutaho

Gitega

Arrested

14/09/2016

The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi noted the presence of three female among FNL activists: all were arrested and remain in detention. FNL activists of Ngozi province (north of the country) are the most numerous (17 in number) among the victims of wrongful arrest, torture, abductions and forced to flee.

Other activists, victims of the same acts of human rights violations, are provinces from Bujumbura, Karuzi, Cankuzo, Ruyigi, Muyinga, Kirundo, Kayanza and Gitega.The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi notes that the perpetrators of torture have not been arrested by police for their actions.

This impunity does not reassure activists FNL who are forced to flee or to live in hiding for fear of repression.

3. Killings, summary executions and armed attacks listed

- An armed group of daggers and pangas killed two men in the locality of Ngoro, Gatara commune, Kayanza province (north-west) in the evening of October 1th, 2016. The victims were night watchmen named Kanyoni and Sinabuhamagaye.The local police did not put their hands on these armed individuals.

- Another armed group injured a man on 1th October 2016 at Karwema, connecting Bubanza and Cibitoke provinces (Western countries). The injured victim was in a vehicle that was ambushed by unidentified armed individuals on National road No. 5 (RN5).

4. Release of two people from the intelligence service

- The National Intelligence Service released Mr. Gideon Gihaga on 3rd October 2016. This is a Burundian businessman who was arrested by agents of the SNR on September 28th, 2016 at his home in Rohero (center of Bujumbura).

Mr. Gihaga was accused of 'corruption' and 'attempted murder' an arrest related to a conflict between the businessman and the State of Burundi. (See SOS-Torture report Burundi No. 42: http://sostortureburundi.over-blog.com/2016/10/rapport-n-42-de-la-campagne-sos-torture-burundi-publie-le-1eroctobre -2016.html).

- The National Intelligence Service also released Gervais Niyongabo on 3rd October 2016. This is a political opponent party chairman of FEDES-Sangira and member of the Political Directorate of the platform of the opposition CNARED the National Council for the respect of the Arusha Agreement and the Rule of Law. Niyongabo was arrested September 28th, 2016 in the town Nyanza Lac, Makamba province (south of the country) and charged with "participation in armed groups" and "endangering the security of the State 'according to the police (see report SOS Burundi-Torture No. 42: http://sostortureburundi.over-blog.com/2016/10/rapport-n-42-de-la-campagne-sos-torture-burundi-publie-le-1eroctobre-2016.html).

The SNR and the police, who had hastened to communicate the charges against the two men, however, not indicated whether these proceedings were lifted.

5. The Government of Burundi announced its intention to withdraw from the Rome Statute governing the International Criminal Court

After almost six months of the commencement of the preliminary examination on the situation in Burundi by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the Government of Burundi meanwhile starts from October 6th, 2016, the steps to withdraw from the Rome status governing this Court.

The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi has made the point with Counsel Gustave Niyonzima, a lawyer and former intern at the ICC.

Counsel Gustave Niyonzima explains:

For information, Burundi ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on 21th September 2004, bringing to 95 the number of States that have ratified the Statute.

Indeed, the International Criminal Court, therefore, has full latitude to exercise jurisdiction with respect to crimes covered by the Rome Statute that have been committed on the territory of Burundi or by nationals of that State from 1st December 2004.

Moreover, the preliminary examination of the situation in Burundi was announced on April 25th, 2016. Of these, according to information then available, over 430 persons were killed, at least 3,400 were arrested and more than 230 000 were forced to seek asylume in neighboring countries.

The preliminary examination focuses on acts of murder, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence as well as on cases of forced disappearances that occurred in Burundi since April 2015.

The steps tending to withdraw from the Rome Statute by the Burundian Government is necessarily to seek some sort of loophole to possible prosecution are that this court could commit at the end of this review.

However reading the Rome Statute and especially Article 127 stipulates that "Any State Party may, by written notification address to the Secretary General of the United Nations, withdraw from this Statute", nevertheless " the withdrawal shall take effect one year after the date on which the notification was received, unless it specifies a later date. "And that withdrawal cannot be retroactive. This means it does impact on the future, not on business and the ongoing investigations already begun. The State has an obligation to continue to cooperate with the judges for all procedures that were started.

Given that article explained above, it is clear that the action of Burundi in terms of withdrawal to the Rome Statute is an empty sentence or a waste of time as all the procedures and preliminary tests done before on Burundi will continue despite the withdrawal effects.

And "withdrawal does not relieve the State of the obligations imposed upon it ... then there was a party ... and does not affect any cooperation with the ICC during investigations and criminal proceedings for which the state had a duty to cooperate and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective; withdrawal does not affect the continued examination of cases that the International Criminal Court had already begun to consider before the date it takes effect. "

The SOS-Torture Campaign / Burundi was initiated with the aim to inform national and international opinion on the serious violations of human rights ongoing in Burundi through monitoring reports including torture, arrests arbitrary, forced disappearances, sexual violence and summary executions.This initiative of the realities of the country follows the slaughter of a hundred persons killed during the day of December 11th and that of December 12th, 2015 by police and military under the pretext of pursuing rebels who came attacking military camps located on the outskirts of the capital.The affected areas are said protesters of third term of President Nkurunziza namely Musaga, Mutakura, Cibitoke, Nyakabiga, Jabe, the last two being located in the center of Bujumbura.

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