REPORT NO. 78 OF SOS-TORTURE / BURUNDI PUBLISHED ON 10 JUNE2017
This report of SOS-Torture covers the period from 3 to 10 June 2017 about human rights violations in Burundi.The report refers to at least eight (8) cases of arbitrary arrests. Among the arrests, there are five opposition activists, including two members (2) from the MSD (Movement for Solidarity and Democracy) party and three (3) from the FNL (National Liberation Front) of the lead by Agathon Rwasa.SOS-Torture Burundi has been able to list at least three (3) deaths, including two (2) murdered in unspecified circumstances, and their bodies thrown into Lake Tanganyika Magara zone of Rumonge Province. According to the Burundian police the two (2) victimes are brothers, but the same police did not communicate their names up to now.
- Violations of the right to life and physical integrity-
Unidentified individuals murdered and thrown bodies of two men in Lake Tanganyika, Magara zone, Bugarama commune, Rumonge province (south of the country), which were discovered on June 6, 2017. The two men are brothers according to the police, which did not communicate their names.
Dead bodies of the two brothers discovered in Magara on the shores of Lake Tanganyika
Police officer Minani Philippe was assassinated on 09 June 2017 in the evening in the Gasekebuye district, Musaga Zone, Muha commune (south of Bujumbura). According to the police, the victim was murdered by two (2) policemen. Both were arrested.
Police Officer Philippe Minani assassinated
2. Violations of the right to liberty and physical security
-SOS-Torture Burundi report No. 76 mentionned the arrest of Mr. Eric Ntirandekura on Nyamabere Hill, Mpanda commune, Bubanza province on 23 May 2017 by individuals identified as agents of the national intelligence service (http: //sostortureburundi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SOS-Torture-Burundi-nume%CC%81ro-76.pdf).
Since that arrest, Mr. Ntirandekura, as well as his friend were arrested on the same day, can not be found in thepolice station and SNR cells. Family and relatives tried to find him and didn't find him, and the SNR did not communicate anything about the arrest. SOS-Torture Burundi wishes to emphasize that Eric Ntirandekura is a militant of the FNL (National Front for the Liberation) opposition party faithful to Agathon Rwasa (vice-president of the National Assembly). Before his arrest by the SNR, he had been threatened by young members of the Imbonerakure militia of the ruling CNDD FDD party.
SOS-Torture Burundi fears a forced disappearance. According to the information gathered, the alleged kidnapper Shadrack was arrested by the police in Bujumbura but did not hand him over to the public prosecutor and police in Bubanza to find the victims.
- The National Intelligence Service agents arrested Sylvestre Singirankabo on Musenyi Hill, Mabanda commune, Makamba province (south of the country) on 30 May 2017. This man is a retired soldier from the former Burundian Armed Forces (formerly FAB ). Relatives report that he is the victim of his comments on a road under construction in Mabanda.
SOS-Torture Burundi has learned that Mr. Singirankabo is being held in police custody in Makamba. SNR agents demanded a ransom for the family to be released, but Mr. Singirankabo was not released despite the forced payment.
- The National Intelligence Service agents arrested Privat Ndihokubwayo in the city of Bujumbura on 2 June 2017 at his home. He is an employee of the National AIDS Control Program (PNLS). Relatives report that Ndihokubwayo is a victim of his travels in Rwanda, which the SNR deems numerous.
SOS-Torture Burundi noted that SNR agents did not receive any warrant at the time of the arrest. This is a repetitive violation of the free movement of goods and persons enshrined in one of the protocols of the East African community but also the constitution of the Republic of Burundi which recognizes the free movement Of Burundian citizens. Privat Ndihokubway is not liable for any infraction in respect of the Loiburundaise and the various conventions that Burundi has ratified. The SNR must communicate other charges that weigh or release the man.
Since the beginning of the crisis in April 2015, relations between Burundi and Rwanda have strained because the Burundian government accuses its northern neighbor being responsible for the instability of Burundi. Several persons of Rwandan nationality have been the victims of arbitrary arrests following these bad relations between the two countries.
- Unidentified individuals kidnapped Jumapili Karenzo on the seventh cross-section of Nasagarare, in the capital of Cibitoke province (north-western) on 5 June 2017 in the evening. Witnesses reported that the kidnappers were in a ToyotaCarina, model T.I., with tinted glasses and without plates; Model of car often used by agents of the national intelligence service during certain arbitrary arrests.
Relatives said they had crisscrossed all the cells in the center of Cibitoke in search of Mr. Karenzo, in vain. The police did not report anything about a probable arrest of the victim, nor any research to find him.
- Unidentified individuals kidnapped Dieudonné Nsabimana nicknamed Banga in the Mirango district, Kamenge zone, Ntahangwa commune (north of Bujumbura) on 5 June 2017 in the evening. He is a militant of the opposition MSD (Movement for Solidarity and Democracy) in charge of mobilization. The family and relatives sought Mr. Nsabimana in several cells to check whether he had been arrested by the police or agents of the National Intelligence Service in vain.
SOS-Torture Burundi fears a forced disappearance and asks the police to conduct investigations to locate the victim, or to communicate his place of detention in case of arrest. Concern about the fate of the young man is more strong as two other activists of this opposition party were executed after two months of incarceration in a place kept secret by the SNR (cf report Sos-Torture Burundi No. 77: http://sostortureburundi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SOS-Torture-Burundi-nume%CC%81ro-77-en-En.pdf)
Dieudonné Nsabimana kidnapped near his home in Kamenge
- Agents of the special police "Support for the Protection of Institutions" (API) arrested Jean-Claude Ngendakumana on 5 June 2017 in the city of Bujumbura. This man is also a policeman of the same API unit in charge of the close protection of the political opponent Agathon Rwasa leader of the FNL and vice-president of the National Assembly whose militants are regularly victims of arbitrary arrests.SOS-Torture Burundi notes that the police did not communicate the reasons for the arrest, in isolation from the IPA premises. Agent Ngendakumana is also from the former FNL rebellion led by Mr. Rwasa.
Jean-Claude Ngendakumana, a policeman in the API unit responsible for the protection of the leader of the FNL Agathon Rwasa
- Young militiamen Imbonerakure beaten Rémy on Ruhwago Hill, Ruyigi commune and province (East of the country) on June 7, 2017 in the presence of magistrates of the Ruyigi public prosecutor's office. This man had been threatened since the day before after an illegal search carried out by these same militiamen. The Imbonerakure wanted to find the author of several leaflets denouncing acts of rape committed on schoolgirls by some militiamen of the hill but who remain unpunished despite the complaints.
SOS-Torture Burundi has learned that Mr. Rémy has filed a complaint with the Ruyigi public prosecution following the threats of the militia. During the confrontation with the public prosecutor, Rémy was beaten up by Fabrice Niyonkuru, the head of the Imbonerakure militiamen of the commune Ruyigi who led the team of militia who came to respond to the warrant. In addition to being beaten in front of the public prosecutor's office, Mr. Rémy was again threatened with severe retaliation if the prosecution dares to imprison any member of the imbonerakure militiamen.
SOS-Torture Burundi notes with bitterness the notorious incapacity of the prosecutor to conduct investigation, let alone to immediately seize the offense of beating the complainant in front of his office. This demonstrates the inability of the judiciary to deal with the militiamensupported by the ruling party.
- Police agents arrested Vénerand Habonimana on Buhoro Hill, Mugongo-Manga commune, Bujumbura province on 7 June 2017. This man is an active activist of the MSD (Movement for Solidarity and Democracy) party in this county. Witnesses reported that the police agents were accompanied by a member of the Imbonerakure militiamen of the ruling party CNDD FDD which was to identify the man to be arrested.
SOS-Torture Burundi notes an arbitrary arrest without a warrant, motivated by Habonimana's refusal to join the ruling CNDD FDD party.
Vénerand Habonimana, local head of the MSD arrested in Mugongomanga
- Police agents arrested Edouard Nzambimana and Jean Paul Nduwarugira in Gitega commune central province on 8 June 2017. Both men are members of the FNL (National Front for the Liberation) opposition party.
Relatives reported that Nzambimana and Nduwarugira were accused putting rod blocs on Bwoga Hill in Gitega.SOS-Torture Burundi fears politically motivated behind the arrests because the police did not have a warrant and sent the case by sending the two men to Gitega prison.
3. Imbonerakure militiamen apprehended after several abuses in Cibitoke
On June 1, 2017, the High Court of Cibitoke (northwestern country) sentenced three (3) members of the Imbonerakure militiamen in perpetuity for murders in Murwi commune Cibitoke province these recent weeks. These are Jean Marie Nsabimana, Jackson Miburo nicknamed Matsinga and Edmond Bayisingize. The killings in question were simulated in retaliation for persons accused of practicing witchcraft.
SOS-Torture salutes the courage of the judges’ whohandled this case and urges the Burundian magistrates to follow this example for the interests of justice.
SOS-Torture Burundi also learned of the arrest of two other Imbonerakure militiamen on Mahande hill, Ngoma zone, Murwi commune on June 7, 2017. This are Bienvenu Kwizerimana and Méthode Ndarusanze, caught by residents in possession of one Kalashnikov rifle and a grenade. The two men were handed over to the police in Cibitoke, and are believed to belong to the same gang targeting the people to be shot.