REPORT No 44 OF SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI PUBLISHED ON 15Th OCTOBRER 2016
REPORT No 44 OF SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI PUBLISHED ON 15Th OCTOBRER 2016
This SOS-Torture report covers the period from October 8th to 15th, 2016.
The report focuses primarily on the irregularities that glazed the procedure of detention of some Burundian military personnel from the day of their arrest until the day of their appearance before the civil magistrate. Besides the fact that these cases have not been supported by military courts, violations of procedures are observed from the day of the detention of concerned soldiers .Today, the civil courts are preparing to make their verdict for some affairs without considering the violations of procedures.
SOS-Torture Burundi evokes secondly, the continued illegal detention of ten people arrested in the same house by police agents at Mutakura. All these people are still detained at the National Intelligence Service there is almost two weeks.
Arbitrary arrests also concern three members of FNL political party opposition. These activists were arrested at Ruyigi province without a warrant.
The report also mentions the armed attacks that SOS-Torture was able to identify one made three victims in Bugarama in Rumonge province and another that killed two people, making a total of five people killed and seriously injured during the past week.
1. SOS-Torture Burundi doubt the partiality of judges in cases of imprisoned soldiers
- Eighteen soldiers arrested on September 14th, 2016 in different communes of the country appeared before the judges of the Intermadiate court of Mukaza (center of Bujumbura) in itinerance at Ngozi (north) where they are incarcerated since their transfer occurred on September 22th, 2016 (see SOS-Torture report Burundi 41: http: //sostortureburundi.over-blog.com/2016/09/rapport-n-41-de-la-campagne-sos-torture-burundi- published September 24-it-2016.html).
These soldiers, most of them Non Commissioned Officers, are from the former Burundian Armed Forces (ex-FAB). They are charged for involvement in armed groups, threats to state security. SOS-Torture Burundi noted in its report No. 41 that they were arrested by agents of the National Intelligence Service and they have never been presented before a military court, as required by the law.
The Military Criminal Code makes it clear that the military can be prosecuted in the ordinary courts only when they have committed a crime in complicity with the civilian.
Curiously since their arrests, most were apprehended in their usual workplaces with no indication of any relationship with the civilians.
Moreover, these NCOs continued under the same folder RMP 181 / NIS and no civilians associated with them so far that could justify this procedure, also, their colleague Eddy Claude Nyongera was executed in the premises of National intelligence Service September 14th, 2016, after hours of torture
(See SOS-Torture report Burundi No. 40: http: //sostortureburundi.over-blog.com/sos-torture-burundi-nume-ro-40-version-francaise).
Also no military court has been hearing the case, SOS-Torture Burundi also wishes to emphasize that Warrant Officer Eddy-Claude Nyongera was indicted 'post-mortem', since it was never presented alive before the government law officer. This is a flagrant violation of procedures strongly cast doubt on the "evidence" of guilt that would hold the prosecution against the other imprisoned soldiers. This confirms that the charges against them were prefabricated before their arrests and hearing.
SOS-Torture Burundi also fears partiality of the judges in this case glazed by numerous violations since the beginning of the procedure. Judges of Mukaza intermediate Court decided to detain all detainees in Ngozi by the decision of 7th October 2016. SOS-Torture Burundi called Mukaza intermediate court judges instance to demonstrate independence and impartiality.
- Eight other soldiers accused to the murderer of Lieutenant General Adolphe Nshimirimana, former head of the National Intelligence Service, appeared on 10 and 11th October 2016. They are detained in Gitega (center of the country) and appeared in hearing held by judges of Ntahangwa intermaiate court (north of Bujumbura) who were on field.
The accused persons are three policemen and five soldiers: Patrick Nsengiyumva, Alexis Sebahene, Philbert Niyonkuru, Ernest Nyabenda Claude Muhimpundu Mathias Miburo Cadeau Igirumugisha; for facts which took place August 2nd, 2015 in Bujumbura.
SOS-Torture Burundi wishes to point out that this case is not handled by a military court although no proof of complicity with the civilian was given. Also, the alleged spent over a year in preventive detention without being tried.
2. Arbitrary arrests, abductions and forced disappearances continue
- Ten people arrested at Mutakura quarter, Cibitoke Zone (north of Bujumbura) by agents of the National Intelligence Service are still in custody at SNR since October 2nd, 2016 while the custody time limits are seven days with the possibility of only one extension of the other seven days, did not appear before the investigating judge, violation of the criminal proceedings have been consumed (see SOS-Torture Burundi report N ° 43: http://sostortureburundi.over-blog.com/2016 /10/rapport-n-43-de-la-campagne-sos-torture-burundi-publie-le-8-octobre-2016.html).This is Nimubona Peter ;Ruvugana Josée (F), Yamuremye Chantal (F), Ndayishimiye Thomas, NdikumanaSelemani, Nyandwi Jean Marie, Migero Polycarp Yombere Déo, Ndayizigiye Dionèse Salvator Nahimana journalist of Radio Maria of the Catholic Church.
Journalist Salvator Nahimana still arbitrary detained with 9 others
Their appearance that was scheduled for on 7th October at Ntahangwa prosecution service (north of Bujumbura) was postponed without any reason.
SOS-Torture Burundi has learned from some relatives of the families that SNR agents are trying to extort money from the families in exchange for the release of these persons. This is a violation of law and constitutes a ransom. It also proves that no serious burden weighs on these persons; otherwise they would have already appeared before the National Prosecution service officer.
SOS-Torture Burundi calls for their immediate release and an end to mafia practices of agents of the national intelligence service.
- The police agents arrested Norbert Manirambona on October 7th, 2016 in Bukemba commune, Rutana province (south-east of the counrty). This is an employee of a microfinance belonging to Maison Shalom organization.
SOS-Torture Burundi learned that Mr. Manirambona is also a member of MSD opposition party (Movement for Solidarity and Democracy). At the time of his arrest, he was with a Burundian journalist named Fidelity Ishatse. She was interrogated for several hours by the Police Commissioner and the prosecutor of Rutana and released without providing any reason for her arrest. Mr. Manirambona had to pass four (4) nights at the police jail before being released on October 11th, 2016, accused of endangering the internal security of the state. No evidence of guilt has been made, reasons of his release after days of arbitrary detention.
- The police officers arrested three men in Ruyigi (Eastern of the country) on 12th October 2016. The arrested persons are all members of FNL opposition political party belonging to AgathonRwasa: Bernard Nduwimana, Leopold Sindihebura Deodette Nakagoma and a member the communal council of Gisuru commune, Ruyigi province
These FNL members join a long list of opponents of the same political party in different provinces detained, tortured, kidnapped or forced to flee (see SOS-Torture report Burundi No. 43: http://sostortureburundi.over-blog.com/2016 /10/rapport-n-43-de-la-campagne-sos-torture-burundi-publie-le-8-octobre-2016.html).
3. Murder, summary executions and armed attacks listed
- An armed attack was conducted on Saga Hill, Ruteme zone, Bugarama commune in Rumonge province (south of the country) on the evening of October 10th, 2016. Three people were shot dead and two others seriously injured in the attack whose authors were not identified. All the victims were in a local cabaret.
The victims shot are Romuald Bizindavyi, Director of the Fundamental School of Ruteme but also a member of the Bugarama communal Council an elected of CNDD-FDD ruling party ; Gregory Havyarimana a teacher of the same school and Edward Sindatunga.
- Another armed attack occurred in Gihanga commune, Bubanza province (west of Bujumbura) in the evening of 11th October 2016. The authors of the attack injured a man during an ambush that targeted a vehicle transporting goods on the National Road NR 5 which connects the capital Bujumbura to Cibitoke province (north-west of the country) through Bubanza.
- Two persons were shot dead by soldiers on Mutobo hill, Kibezi zone, Mugamba commune, Bururi province (south of the country) on 12th October 2016. Witnesses reported that they were armed thieves who tried to rob sellers.