REPORT NO. 227 OF SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI PUBLISHED ON 18 APRIL 2020
This SOS-Torture/Burundi report covers the period from 11 to 18 April 2020 concerning cases of human rights violations and abuses in Burundi.
At least three (3) persons were executed during the period. This is a former military man and his servants, who were shot while they had already been arrested and tied up by police officers.
The report also mentions ten (10) cases of arbitrary arrests, the victims of which are mainly members of the opposition.
Violations of the right to life and physical integrity
- Police officers shot dead Pascal Ninganza (nicknamed Kaburimbo), Desiré Ciza and Riyazimana at the home of Ninganza in Matana municipality, Bururi province (south of the country) on April 15, 2020. Witnesses report that the police, led by Commissioner Thaddée Birutegusa in charge of southern region of the country, had already tied the 3 men for interrogation after they showed military effects in their possession. Subsequently, the same officers were ordered to execute the three men, despite the fact that they were no longer in danger.
- Sos-Torture/Burundi notes extrajudicial executions carried out under the orders of a Burundian senior police officer. The main target was Pascal Ninganza, a former soldier whose head had been put up for 5 million francs by the Speaker of the Senate Révérien Ndikuriyo a few months ago. The other two victims were domestic workers.
Violations of the right to liberty and physical security
- Police officers arrested Didace Rufyikiri, Gérard Habonimana and Berchmans Harushimana at their respective homes in gisuru commune, Ruyigi province (east of the country) on the evening of 11 April 2020. Relatives report that these three men are activists of the opposition party CNL (National Congress for freedom). They are accused of “raising funds to supply the rebels.”
Sos-Torture/Burundi notes arbitrary arrests carried out late in the evening. The three members of CNL party are accused of collaborating with rebel groups, although the police did not provide any evidence. Relatives report that the three men would in fact be accused of raising funds within their party’s activists in preparation for the election deadlines.
- Police officers also arrested Salvator Nzeyimana, Jerome Nsanzurwimo, Berchmans Bizindavyi, Richard Manirambona and Gilbert Ngomirakiza in Bigina zone, Kayogoro municipality, Makamba province (south of the country) on 11 April 2020. Relatives report that the five men are also activists of the opposition CNL party.
Sos-Torture/Burundi again notes arbitrary arrests. Harassment of members of the opposition intensifies as Burundi approaches electoral deadlines. These people are accused of raising funds intended to finance the activities of their party.
- Members of the imbonerakure militia arrested George Nizigiyimana, Jean Bosco Ndayambaje and Jean Baptiste Havyarimana on Muyange Hill, bugenyuzi commune, Karusi province (eastern central) on 12 April 2020. Witnesses report that the three people were sharing a drink in a local bistro at the time they were assaulted by the ruling party militiamen.
Sos-Torture/Burundi notes illegal arrests by members of the CNDD-FDD party. Relatives also report that the persons concerned are all members of the opposition CNL party. In the same attack, imbonerakure militiamen beat and seriously injured Prosper Nduguyangu, also a member of the CNL party.