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SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI

REPORT N ° 79 OF SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI PUBLISHED 17 JUNE 2017

18 Juin 2017 , Rédigé par DDH-Burundais

 

The report of SOS-Torture covers the period ranging from 10 to 17 June 2017 on human rights violations in Burundi.

The report highlights the prison situation in Burundi once again rising. Following the release of prisoners who benefited from the presidential pardon between February and March 2017, the number of detainees rose again from 8,611 to 9,195 prisoners in Burundi in one month, an increase of 584 detainees. This confirms the allegations of arbitrary arrests and detentions, since pre-trial detainees are twice as many as already convicted.

At least four (4) persons were murdered during the period, including three in the Bujumbura capital city.

The report also mentions the forced disappearance of a man living in the  Ruyigi commune since June 8, 2017, after being illegally arrest by Imbonerakure militiamen who first tortured him, the victim was later missing.

The report also refers to seven (7) cases of arbitrary arrests, some of which were carried out by Imbonerakure militiamen in complicity with police agents.

1. Prison situation again rising

The analysis of the prison situation at the end of May 2017 shows an increase in the number of prisoners compared to the situation in April 2017 (see SOS-Torture Burundi report No. 72: http: // sostortureburundi .org / wp-content / uploads / 2016/08 / SOS-Torture-Burundi-nume% CC% 81ro-72-en-EN.pdf). The number of detainees increased from 8,611 to 9,195 prisoners in Burundi in one month, an increase in the prison population of 584 prisoners.

This considerable increase demonstrates an abuse of often arbitrary arrests, irregular detentions supported by the number of defendants (5,441 including 38 minors) far greater than the number of convicted prisoners (3,754 including 52 minors). Yet the Ministry of Justice released more than 2,000 detainees who received a presidential pardon between February and March 2017; with the aim of relieving congestion in overcrowded prisons since the beginning of the crisis. These releases, instead of improving the living conditions of other detainees, ultimately have no effect since the arbitrary arrests continue. The prison capacity in Burundi is 4,194, while the number of prisoners is more than the double.

 

2. Violations of the right to life and physical integrity

- Unidentified individuals killed Gabriel Basita on Kirambi hill, Rusengo zone,  Ruyigi commune and province (East of the country) on 11 June 2017. The police initially referred to a crime linked to obscurantist beliefs, Mr. Basita being accused of practicing witchcraft.

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that people accused of practicing witchcraft are currently being murdered in some localities, and that the police are basing on these unconvincing explanations, while this may be a pretext that hides other motives not yet elucidated. .

- Unidentified individuals attacked a group of residents in a bar located near a gas station in Musaga zone (south of Bujumbura) on 14 June 2017 in the early evening. Two men died after the attack, Lambert Nkurunziza and Fiston Nduwimana, who are bus drivers; 12 others were injured. The police did not identify the perpetrators of the attack.

 

Fiston Nduwimana, one of the drivers killed by grenade in Musaga

- Armed individuals killed Aimable Hakizimana on Mutsinda Avenue, Kinindo zone (south of Bujumbura) on 15 June 2017 during the day. The victim is a retired of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB) who was stolen a sum of money before being executed. The police have not arrested any suspects at the moment.

 

Mr. Aimable Hakizimana shot dead near his home in Kinindo

 

 

3. Violations of the right to liberty and physical security

 

- Leonce nicknamed Kinyenyi has been missing since June 8, 2017 after his abduction by Imbonerakure militiamen in Karidonzi, Ruyigi commune and province (East of the country). This man is a storekeeper in a store of Méthode Nitunga nicknamed Kabusosi, who is within the group of the Imbonerakure which arrested him on June 6, 2017 accusing him of stealing some items from the store. At the time of this first arrest, Leonce, nicknamed Kinyenyi, was immediately released by the judicial police officer who found no charge against him.

 

SOS-Torture Burundi learned from relatives that Leonce was again arrested on 7 June 2017 by the same group of Imbonerakure militiamen who demanded him to pay them money from the sale of his property. The militia who carried out the arrest were Mangue, Nyawenda (Kabusosi's little brother), Kamoteri, Kibaya Fabrice (a health technician in Rusengo zone and responsible for the imbonerakure in the Gasanda of Ruyigi Commune), Haruna Mustafa, Ndayishimiye nicknamed Kirara and Murekambanze nicknamed Mureruye .

 

Mr. Léonce was held in illegal detention, tied to a fence near his employer's shop, where he was tortured for hours by his captivators. Since 8 June 2017, he can not be found at the place where he was provisionally detained. Léonce was preparing for his marriage initially planned on June 24, 2017, his family, and his future wife remain under threat by the group of Imbonerakure militiamen.

 

This is a forced disappearance with risk of extrajudicial execution, if the Imbonerakure kidnappers have not already killed the victim. Ruyigi police, which knows to have released the victim, must quickly investigate to find him and arrest his executioners.

 

- Police agents arrested Leopold Mugabaranoga in the southwestern town of Rumonge on 11 June 2017. He is a secondary school teacher who has been accused by the school's director of attempted rape on a student. Relatives of the teacher talk about a simple accusation, with the aim of putting him in prison. The police have not communicated anything about the case to date nor confirmed the accusations of the high school director.

 

- Report No. 78 of SOS-Torture Burundi mentions young Imbonerakure militiamen who beaten up a man named Rémy on Ruhwago hill, Ruyigi  commune and province (East of the country) on 7 June 2017 and in the presence of magistrates from the Ruyigi public prosecution's office (Http://sostortureburundi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SOS-Torture-Burundi-nume%CC%81ro-78-en-Fr-1.pdf), following leaflets denouncing acts of Rapes committed on schoolgirls. After the retaliation of the militiamen Imbonerakure, one of these militia, Désiré Ndayishimiye, was arrested on the orders of the public prosecutor.

 

SOS-Torture Burundi, however, learned of his release on June 9, 2017, while charges of rape still weigh on him. The Imbonerakure militiamen put pressure on the prosecution service, which subsequently ceded and released the principal accused. The victim of rape is a minor student in 3rd year primary.

 

- Young Imbonerakure militiamen arrested Mateso on Muriza hill, Butaganzwa commune, Ruyigi province, on 10 June 2017. Witnesses reported that the man was wearing a t-shirt bearing the signs of the ruling party CNDD FDD, militiamen Imbonerakure accused him of smearing the party by wearing the tee-shirt.

 

In addition to the fact that the arrest is illegal since the Imbonerakure are not authorized to carry out such operations, SOS-Torture Burundi notes that Mr. Mateso is a victim of arbitrary arrest because instead of releasing him, police agents detained him for three days without any charges against him. The police became accomplice of the militiamen Imbonerakure, which is becoming general in several localities.

 

- Young Imbonerakure militiamen arrested Denis Nicoyangereye on Kirungu Hill, Nyabitsinda commune, Ruyigi province, on 10 June 2017. During the illegal arrest, The Imbonerakure Vianney and Elias were accompanied by two police agents who told to Mr. Nicoyangereye that he should accompany them to the police station. Relatives confirm that Mr. Nicoyangereye complied and once at the police station learned that he was being sought and placed in a cell without a warrant and without explanation as to why he was arrested. The cell in question is not that of the police, but rather a hidden cell.

SOS-Torture Burundi also learned from relatives that a policeman helped Nicoyangereye to escape after revealing him a plan to physically eliminate him. The Imbonerakure militiamen who arrested him, however, arrested other persons in reprisail  to reveal where Nicoyangereye is hiding. The arrested persons are: Majambere, Jonathan, Fayidariet Emmanuel; Who were beaten up by the Imbonerakure.

 

- Imbonerakure militiamen entered the house of Fidèle Ndayegamiye on Ruharo Hill, Nyabitsinda commune, Ruyigi province (East of the country) on 13 June 2017. They beaten him before taking him to the police station of Nyaruganda, where Mr. Ndayegamiye was tied with two handcuffs (one on the leg and the other on hands). Relatives reported that the man spent 48 hours handcuffed without food. Mr. Ndayegamiye had to pay 20,000 Burundi francs for his release.

 

SOS-Torture Burundi notes an arbitrary arrest operated by Imbonerakure militiamen in complicity with Nyabitsinda police agents.

 

- Police agents arrested Ildephonse Nkunzimana on Bwoga hill, Gitega commune and province (center of the country) on 15 June 2017. He is an opposition activist of the FNL (National Front for the Liberation) party Faithful to Agathon Rwasa. Police agents did not have a warrant, which raises fears of politically motivated arbitrary arrest.

 

- Imbonerakure militiamen and police agents arrested Charles Nkundinka and Boniface Ntigurinzigo on Rugajo Hill, Mugina commune, Cibitoke province, on 15 June 2017. These men are accused of not participating in Community work where the second Burundian vice-president was present. Witnesses report that they were tied up by the Imbonerakure militiamen and then taken to the cell of the National Intelligence Service.

 

SOS-Torture Burundi notes that no charges are being laid against these two men, victims of arbitrary arrests; The SNR must release them.

 

SOS-Torture / Burundi campaign was initiated with the aim of informing national and international opinion about serious human rights violations that are being committed in Burundi via monitoring reports, made particularly of torture, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances, sexual violence and summary executions.

This initiative to inform about the realities of the country followed the slaughter of a hundred people killed during the day of 11 and 12 December 2015 by the police and military under the pretext of pursuing rebels who came to attack military camps on the outskirts of the capital.

The affected quarters are said to be challenging the third term of President Nkurunziza, these are Musaga, Mutakura, Cibitoke, Nyakabiga and Jabe, the last two being located in the center of Bujumbura.

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