Burundi

The verdict on 22 May 2012, in the trial of those accused of killing Ernest Manirumva, a Burundian anti-corruption activist, has been a missed opportunity to deliver justice, 20 Burundian and international nongovernmental organizations said today in a joint statement. The outcome was a grave disappointment to those who have campaigned for his killers to be held to account, as potentially important evidence in the case was not pursued. Manirumva had been investigating several sensitive cases a...read more

State prosecutors requested a life sentence for Burundian radio reporter Hassan Ruvakiki who was imprisoned after airing a November interview with a purported rebel leader, according to news reports. Chief Prosecutor Barbatus Ntakarusho made the request during a hearing at a court in Cankuzo, a city in eastern Burundi, saying the reporter had engaged in 'acts of terrorism', the journalist's defense lawyer, Onesime Kabayabaya, told CPJ. Ruvakiki is a reporter for the French government-funded R...read more

The Burundi government has rejected a recent critical report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on 'the escalation of violence in Burundi' describing it as 'a declaration of war'. A statement said: 'As the previous reports were seen by the Burundi government as simple signs of provocation, the one which came out on Wednesday 2 May...is a true declaration of war against the Burundi people bound, according to the NGO, to disappear if it continues to live with the leaders it elected in the last electio...read more

The Burundian Interior Minister ordered Human Rights Watch to cancel a news conference in the capital, Bujumbura, on May 2, 2012, that was planned to release a report on political violence in Burundi, Human Rights Watch said. The police also ordered Human Rights Watch to stop distribution of the report in Burundi. The Human Rights Watch report documents the rise of political killings in Burundi from late 2010 to late 2011.

The scheduled reopening of the trial of those accused of murdering Ernest Manirumva, a Burundian human rights defender, is a positive step, said the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) and Protection International. Ernest Manirumva was vice-president of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Malpractice Observatory (OLUCOME). He was kidnapped from his home on the night of 8 April 2009 and murdered in the early hours of the morning of 9 April.

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