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SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI

SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI REPORT NO. 65 RELEASED ON 11TH MARCH 2017

12 Mars 2017 , Rédigé par DDH-Burundais

This report of SOS-Torture Burundi covers the period from 4th to 1th March 2017 relating to the human rights violations that continue to be committed with impunity in Burundi.

The report refers to the arbitrary arrests of twenty-five (25) persons during the period referred to and in different areas. Among these arrests we count three cases of torture, among them a girl tortured by militants imbonerakure, youth of the ruling party in Nyabitsinda, Ruyigi province. The same militiamen have carried out illigal arrests and committed other abuses with the complicity of the police.

During the period, SOS-Torture Burundi reported six (6) cases of assassination in addition to an assassination attempt of a policeman by one of his colleagues. One of the victims was hastly buried by the administration of Rugombo without it being identified.

The report also refers to the 20-year sentence of Corporal Pierre Ntahomvukiy for the murder of his superior, Major Dieudonné Karashira. The officer was shot dead at the end of January 2017 when he entered Corporal Ntahomvukiye's room.

Finally, SOS-Torture thanks all those who have responded to its campaign to identify corrupt magistrates who serve other interests than those of justice.

1. Arbitrary arrests, kidnappings and forced disappearances continue

- The militants imbonerakure, youth members of the ruling party, violently beaten Emmanuel Sinzinkayo nicknamed 'Wakera' of the Butaganzwa Commune,  Ruyigi Province (East of the country) on February 25th, 2017. The victim is a mechanic specializing in motorcycle repair. Witnesses reported that Mr. Sinzinkayo had a drink after a day's work, when  Muriza chief zone of Butaganzwa commune known as Fabien ordered him to pour the contents of his glass on the ground; Which the victim refused.

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the chief zone immediately ordered the Imbonerakure militiamen of the ruling CNDD-FDD party to beat up Mr. Sinzinkayo, which the militiamen executed with virulence. SOS Torture was informed that among the militiamen who executed this illegal order was Ferdinand Banyankimbona, one of the leaders of these militiamen. The victim of beating was subsequently incarcerated in the police cell in a state of critical health following the beatings received; then released the next day without trial. SOS-Torture Burundi calls on the police to do their job of guaranteeing public order and the safety of the citizens, and therefore it has an obligation to do justice to this man by arresting his attackers as well as the zone chief who must be held responsible and compensate the victim. The risk is, however, that the police closed their eyes to this case, one among hundreds of others where the Imbonerakure militiamen are making the law and imposing terror in almost all localities of the country.

- Imbonerakure militiamen tortured and nearly murdered a young girl named Nibogora on Ruharo sub-hill, Muhwazi zone, Nyabitsinda commune, Ruyigi province (East of the country) on March 4th, 2017. The girl was arrested by two party militiamen CNDD-FDD named Ferdinand Kanani and David Tuyikorere who then tied her up and hung on a tree like an animal. The two men then beat the girl with clubs and slaps, leaving her agonizing after accusing her of stealing money.

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the girl is in critical condition, the body completely oedematized and paralyzed since that day. The police did not make any arrests, the two men being free while the victim is in a serious condition. Burundian police has again showed his inability to assume his primary mission and remains an accomplice of the horrendous acts of violence committed by the Imbonerakure militiamen who still survive with impunity.

- Police officers arrested four young high school students in Busiga commune, Ngozi province, on March 5th, 2017. They were Mugisha, Karibu, Mutabazi and Arthémon, arrested while they were in the area of the market.

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the mistake of the four young men is that they have traveled to Rwanda for sport reasons, all of them football players. This is in no way a reason for arrests. The police must promptly release these persons so they can go back to school. These young pupils must not be the victims of the strained political relations between Burundi and Rwanda since the Burundian government has always accused its neighbor of trying to destabilize it.

- Police agents arrested Pascal Ndanibenga in Bubanza province (western part of the country) on 6th March 2017. He is a doctor who visits the Bubanza public hospital, accused of not having secured a patient who died in the hospital. SOS-Torture Burundi notes that a warrant was issued by the public prosecutor in Bubanza. However, allegations of non-assistance to a person in danger can only be substantiated by a thorough investigation and based on medical expertise proving that the patient has actually been the victim of negligence. Until the contrary is shown, SOS-Torture Burundi requests that Dr. Ndanibenga be released; otherwise his arrest will be motivated by other unavowed reasons. Unfortunately for the time being, the Bubanza Court of First Instance confirmed that he would remain in Bubanza prison on 10th March 2017.

The same police also arrested Sixte Manirageza at Bubanza on 8th March 2017. He is also an employee of the public hospital in Bubanza.

- Imbonerakure militiamen illegally arrested Pascal Foke and Kanamba on Bigombo Hill, Bweru Commune, Ruyigi Province, on March 6th, 2017. The militiamen accused the two men of being responsible for the theft of a party flag CNDD-FDD allegedly on February 25th, 2017. Witnesses report that the militiamen tied up the two men and then took them to the police cell.

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the two men are opposition activists of the FNL pro-AgathonRwasa party. Instead of releasing them after their arbitrary and illegal arrest, Bweru police officers instead assisted the militiamen in their attempts to extort the confession of the robbery that no one witnessed. The two men must be released.

- Police officers and the National Intelligence Service arrested about ten persons in Mukoni,  Muyinga commune and province (North of the country) on March 6th, 2017. The damage the fault these persons is that they did not have households note books a document to contain all the occupants of each house and signed by the administration, document still not governed by any law in Burundi. Others were arrested because they were in small groups of 3 or more.

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that each person arrested was released the same day, on payment of a bribe of ten thousand francs. These abusive and zealous interpellations were linked to the visit of President NKurunziza which was scheduled the next day in this locality. .

- Police officers arrested and tortured Manassé Ndizeye in Gihanga, Bubanza province (western part of the country) on 8th March 2017. The victim is a law student from the University of Burundi who was in a bar in the locality when he was arrested by a non-commissioned officer who accused him of having made offensive remarks against his superior officer.

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the young man claimed his innocence and was violently beaten by the police in Gihanga's cell. He was released on 10th March 2017 without the perpetrators being harassed.

The student Manasseh Ndizeye beaten during his incarcerationn

- National intelligence agents arrested four young men in Ndora, Bukinanyana commune, Cibitoke province (north-western) on March 10th, 2017. Those arrested are Claude Cizanye, Jean Pierre Tunga, Boniface Hakizimana and Frédéric Nyabenda.

The four young men, residing in the Rango commune, Kayanza province (neighboring Cibitoke province in the north of the country), were tied up and then boarded in the SNR vehicle C 6392 A, accused of participating in armed gangs. SOS-Torture Burundi suspects arbitrary arrests, without evidence of the charges la

2.  Assassinations, summary executions and armed attacks

- Pacifique Nduwayezu a policeman  attempted to shoot with his weapon his colleague  Eric (nicknamed 'Mwarabu') on the police barrack in Buganda commune, Cibitoke province (northwestern part of the country) on 4th March 2017. The victim was seriously injured, and the perpetrator of the assassination attempt was arrested.

 

- Discovered on Friday, March 10th, 2017, a death body floated on the waters of the Mubarazi River in the Province of Muramvya (Central of the country). Witnesses on site said the victim was injured at the forehead and chin; his body had traces of blood. She was undressed and naked, the body was recovered by the civil protection police and the Red Cross services around 18:00 30 min to take him to the Muramvya Hospital Morgue. His identity was not known; those who saw the body estimated he would be thirty years old. It was in this river that other dead bodies had been discovered towards the end of 2016.

 

- Individuals murdered a 14-year-old boy named Ciza on the Rusiga hill, Rugombo commune, Cibitoke province (north-western part of the country) on 4th March 2017 in the evening. The victim worked in a bistro and was murdered on his way home. The police have not arrested any suspects to date.

 

- Individuals murdered a man on Gabiro-Ruvyagira hill, Rugombo commune, Cibitoke province (northwest of the country), and his body was found on 6th March 2017. Witnesses report that the victim is not known in the Locality.

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the local administration carried out the burial of the victim without carrying out the investigations far enough to allow the police time to identify the victim and to inform the family or relatives of the victim.

 

- Raphael Barumbanze's body was found on Kibuye Hill in Bukirasazi commune, Gitega province, on 7th March 2017. Relatives reported that he had been missing since 3th March 2017 after a visit to the city center Of Gitega to receive his salary. The police did not identify any trails to locate the perpetrator.

 

- Unidentified individuals kidnapped and murdered Diomede Bigirimana before throwing his body on the hill Buhinyuza, Mariza zone, Burambi commune, Rumonge province (south of the country). His body was discovered on 8 March 2017. The victim is a retired soldier from the former Burundian Armed Forces (FAB), who had not been seen since 2 March 2017; He was stabbed in the face and stripped of his money. The police have not arrested any suspects at the moment.

 

- Armed individuals killed Isidore Niyondiko on Makombe Hill, Gatete zone,  Rumonge commune and province (south of the country) on March 9th, 2017 at night. The victim is a truck owner who had just sent food aid from the Ministry of Solidarity for the vulnerable in the locality.

 

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the police arrested seven suspects. The administration must closely monitor food distribution to avoid new crimes of this kind because families accuse local officials of favoring certain people during these distributions to the detriment of the real vulnerable and needy in this period of food crisis.

3.  Mutukura soldier sentenced to 20 years in prison

 

A soldier assigned to the Mutukura camp in the eastern province of Cankuzo was sentenced by the District Court of Muyinga (located in the north of the country) to 20 years of criminal servitude in a judgment rendered on 9th March 2017. He Is Corporal Pierre Ntahomvukiye, accused of the murder of his superior, Major Dieudonné Karashira on the night of January 25th, 2017. (cfr report No. 59 of SOS-Torture Burundi: http://sostortureburundi.org/wp-content/ Uploads / 2016/08 / SOS-Torture-Burundi-nume% CC% 81ro-59-en.pdf).

 

In our previous report on the incident, witnesses reported that Major Karashira was killed while attempting to arrest the Corporal overnight by entering his room, although the exact reasons for his arrest were not evoked by the army afterwards. This officer was killed in the aftermath of an attack on the Mukoni military camp in Muyinga, followed by a wave of arrests of soldiers mainly from the Burundi Armed Forces (formerly FAB).

 

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the accused admitted the murder but advanced the reasons for self-defense and did not premeditate the assassination. He further urged the court to further investigate why Major Karashira had entered his subordinate's room at a late hour with a weapon in his hand. The military, especially ex-FAB, are targeted by arbitrary arrests, targeted assassinations and forced disappearances. The use of his weapon by Corporal Ntahomvukiye may be explained in the fear of suffering the same fate; As the judges had to clarify the case in order to know the reasons for the presence of this officer at late hours in the room of one of his subordinates, especially since the spokesman for the Burundian army had affirmed the day of the murder. Officer was killed by accident because he had not followed the safety instructions

Major Dieudonné Karashira, shot dead by Corporal Ntahomvukiye

 

4. Identification of corrupt magistrates

 

SOS Torture Burundi is pleased with the information already gathered since it launched the campaign to identify the corrupt magistrates who serve other interests than those of justice, today magistrates have been cited, and other names continue to reach the drafting team of SOS-Torture Burundi. The organization thanks those who collaborate in this campaign and encourage others to follow this path for the restoration of justice in Burundi.

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