SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI REPORT No. 158 ISSUED 22 DECEMBER 2018
This report from Sos-Torture/Burundi covers the period ranging between 15 and 22 December 2018 concerning cases of human rights violations in Burundi.
At least six (6) persons were murdered during the period in different locations. Among the victims are a mother and her three children shot dead in Kirundo, a former soldier killed and thrown into Nyabagere River in Bujumbura, and a man beheaded by his executioners in Mpanda Commune.
The report also mentions five (5) cases of arbitrary arrests including an illegal and irregular one by members of imbonerakure militiamen. Among those arrested, an employee of SOCABU insurance company victim of having stayed in Rwanda for a few weeks.
- Violations of the right to life and to physical integrity
- On December 15, 2018 the elected deputy head of the hill of Nyarwonga, Bubanza commune and province (west of the country) tried to eliminate his wife with two grenades in his possession. Witnesses report that this man, Nkenguburundi, was mastered in time by police agents who had to shoot him and prevent him from using these grenades.
Sos-Torture/Burundi notes that this hill elected is in detention. He is not the first local administrative officer in possession of weapons. Several other local elected officials and members of the ruling party’s imbonerakure militiamen are regularly accused by the population to possess firearms and to use them for threats and reprisals.
- Unidentified individuals murdered Master Corporal Dieudonné Ntakirutimana whose body was discovered in Nyabagere River separating Ngagara and Cibitoke zones (north of Bujumbura City) on December 16, 2018. The victim is a former soldier. He died in the hospital when he had just been evacuated dying.
SOS-Torture/Burundi notes that the police have not yet identified any suspects.
- On 19 December 2018 unidentified individuals murdered and beheaded Abraham Kiberetse whose body was found on 11th Avenue Mpanda Commune, Bubanza Province (western Burundi). Witnesses report that he had received the previous day a visit of four (4) persons at his home who took him away and murdered him.
Sos-Torture/Burundi notes that the police announced the arrest of five (5) suspects during the investigation.
- Unidentified individuals murdered four (4) persons with grenades thrown at a house on Kavomo Hill, Kirundo commune and province (north of the country) on December 19, 2018 in the evening. Witnesses report that the victims are the wife and three (3) children of Mr. Jean Claude Ruberintwari. The father had not returned yet at the time of the attack. Three (3) other children of the couple were injured and survived the attack.
Sos-Torture/Burundi notes that the police have announced the arrest of two (2) persons among the neighbors of the partially decimated family, without indicating whether they are suspects or witnesses of the attack.
- Violations of the right to liberty and physical security
- On December 15, 2018 in the evening, police agents arrested Éric Havyarimana in the center of Makamba commune, Makamba province (south of the country). Witnesses report that the order to arrest him comes from Makamba governor Gad Niyukuri, accusing him of “planning a karaoke” when opening a new bar.
Sos-Torture/Burundi notes an arbitrary arrest of Mr. Havyarimana for charges that do not constitute an offense punishable by imprisonment. The governor of Makamba acted without a warrant, as in several other cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions where he has already been cited.
- On December 18, 2018, police agents arrested Daniel Bashemeze and another man in Gisovu neighborhood, Bubanza commune and province (west of the country). Relatives report that the two men are active militants of FNL opposition partyfaithful to Agathon Rwasa.
Sos-Torture/Burundi notes that the police did not explain the reasons for the arrests to those concerned or their relatives. There is a risk that these arrests may be politically motivated.
- Agents of the national intelligence service arrested Etienne Munyankindi in the city of Bujumbura on December 18, 2018. Witnesses report that he was taken from his workplace to the Burundi Insurance Corporation (SOCABU). Relatives report that he is accused of having “stayed” in Rwanda for a month. The SNR agents arrested him two days after his arrival.
Sos-Torture/Burundi also learned from relatives that Mr. Munyankindi stayed in Rwanda for health care. Sos-Torture/Burundi notes an arbitrary arrest, presumably linked to the strained relations between Burundi and Rwanda since the beginning of the crisis. Several people were victims of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances following their stay in Rwanda. Burundian authorities accuse Rwanda of wanting to destabilize the country.
- Members of the Imbonerakure militiamen arrested Audace Ndikuriyo on Nyankara Hill, Makamba commune and province (south of the country) on December 18, 2018. Witnesses report that this teacher of Nyankara Basic School is the victim of having refused to buy a drink to these militiamen in a local bar.
Sos-Torture/Burundi notes an unlawful arrest by militiamen of the ruling party, and the complicity of Makamba’s national intelligence chief who authorized the detention, accusing Mr. Ndikuriyo of attacking state institutions to justify this arrest.
SOS-Torture/Burundi was initiated with the aim of informing national and international opinion about serious human rights violations under way in Burundi through monitoring reports, particularly on torture, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and summary executions.This initiative to inform about the realities of the country followed a series of assassinations of a hundred people killed during the day of 11 and 12 December , 2015 by the police and military on the pretext of pursuing rebels who came to attack military camps on the outskirts of the capital city.The affected zones are said to be contesting the third term of President Nkurunziza namely Musaga, Mutakura, Cibitoke, Nyakabiga, Jabe, the last two being located in the center of the Bujumbura City Council.