11/13/2019

Urgent Action: Journalists Detained for Doing their Job (Burundi: UA 149.19)


Four Iwacu journalists and their driver were arbitrarily arrested on 22 October in north-western Burundi, as they arrived to investigate reports of clashes between the security forces and an armed group in Bubanza province. Charged with undermining state security, the five remain in prison after the Council Chamber of the Bubanza Tribunal decided to keep them in detention on 31 October. They have appealed this decision.

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Prosecutor General of the Republic Sylvestre Nyandwi
Parquet général
B.P. 105
Bujumbura, Burundi
Ambassador Gaudence Sindayigaya
Embassy of the Republic of Burundi
2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW Suite 408, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 342 2574 I Fax: 202 342 2578
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Mr. Prosecutor General,

I am appalled by the continued detention of Iwacu journalists Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Egide Harerimana, Térence Mpozenzi and their driver, Adolphe Masabarakiza, since they were arbitrarily arrested in Bubanza Province on 22 October 2019.

According to Iwacu, a Burundian independent news outlet, its employees were in Bubanza to investigate reports of clashes between the security forces and an armed group in the province. As is their usual practice, they had informed the provincial authorities of their plan to travel to the area, only to be arrested upon arrival.

On 31 October, the Council Chamber of the Bubanza Tribunal decided to keep the five in detention at Bubanza Central Prison where they had been transferred from police cells by the provincial prosecutor’s office five days earlier. They were charged with undermining state security the same day.

I believe Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Egide Harerimana, Térence Mpozenzi and Adolphe Masabarakiza were arrested and are being targeted simply for doing their work. Therefore, I call on you to ensure that all accusations against them are dropped and that they are released immediately and unconditionally.

Yours sincerely,

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