The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi Condemns This Violation Of The Law
In this SOS-Torture report of 23 to 30 July 2016, we start with an introductory word on the diplomatic incident, caused by the Burundi government delegation on the last day of the review of Burundi to the United Nations Committee against torture this Friday, 29/07/2016, then we evoke, arbitrary arrests that continued intensity in Bujumbura including qualified Musaga protest zone area of the 3rd term of the President of the Republic Pierre Nkurunziza.
Two raids were conducted with the arrest of a hundred people to each operation. The reason given by the police search of armed fighters, but locals refer to harassment and intimidation by police officers. After a so-called identity check, people have been released with the exception of about thirty persons held Friday.
At least seventy-five (75) people were arrested earlier by the police, sometimes by agents of the national intelligence service in different localities. Among them, enforced disappearances including a journalist of the newspaper group Iwacu named Jean Bigirimana. He is missing since his arrest July 22, 2016 by agents of the National Intelligence Service.
The report also gives information on a case of flagrant violation of the law including the Convention against Torture. This is a named Jean Bosco Cishahayo police officer nicknamed ‘Kabanda’ which has benefited from a presidential pardon and was released in the month of March 2016 while the torturer repeat offender was sentenced to five ( 5) years’ imprisonment in May 2014 for torturing a resident of Ruyigi.
The latter is dedicated to the death of a young inmate Muyinga in which the prison authorities refused the right to be treated by an authorized structure.
1. SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi condemns the attitude of the Government in the analysis of Burundi by the Committee against Torture (CAT)
The delegation of Burundian Government which was in Geneva for a special session of the Burundi analysis by the United Nations Committee against Torture (July 28-29 2016) turned his back to the Committee by refusing to answer questions from experts.
The Government had nevertheless sent its report to the Committee, albeit belatedly given the agreed deadlines, and experts of the Committee against Torture (CAT) and civil society organizations (who had also developed their alternative report) expected to specific answers.
The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi who was represented at the session expressed surprise at the attitude of the Burundian authorities to categorically refuse to come and give answers to questions of committee experts calling for more time to analyze the allegations organizations civil society while the session was known involved since March.
We believe it is an escape from responsibility, especially since experts CAT, very aware of the situation in Burundi, had asked very relevant and documented questions to the Minister of Justice, Head of the Delegation of the Burundian government.
2. Arbitrary arrests, abductions and enforced disappearances continue
• The police resumed become weekly roundups in Musaga area (south of Bujumbura) dated 25 July 2016. The operation was conducted jointly with the military in the area Kinanira I. All the young men were routinely required to report members of the security forces. Witnesses indicate that a hundred young people were arrested and taken to the offices of the Musaga area for identification. This identification process is done on the basis of identity cards and household notebooks, a document required from the beginning of the crisis and which is governed by no law in Burundi. Officially, the police and the military say they are looking for fighters hiding in the Musaga area, but residents denounce harassment and relentless intimidation for the sole fact that the area has demonstrated in 2015 against the third term of the President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza.Journalist Jean Bigirimana, missing since July 22, 2016• On 22 July 2016 a journalist named Jean Bigirimana was arrested by men in civilian on Highway No. 1 (RN 1) at Bugarama (34 kilometers north of Bujumbura). The journalist works for the Iwacu press group. Relatives and officials of Iwacu however ignore his whereabouts and are concerned for his safety. The newspaper’s editor testified that he conducted audits within the police, the National Intelligence Service and prisons of Burundi without success.
• This is an enforced disappearance also concerned that the human rights activists and the media professionals organizations. The press group Iwacu’s investigation and certifies that the journalist Jean Bigirimana was arrested by agents of the National Intelligence Service who boarded a van to Muramvya. The journalist fell into an ambush of an acquaintance. Until then, the police and the intelligence service denied having conducted the arrest of Jean Bigirimana.
The complete survey Iwacu published on 29 July: http: //www.iwacu-burundi.org/flou-autour-dune-arrestation/
• A young man named Gaspard tried to get out of a dungeon of the National Intelligence Service in Muramvya (Central Region), dated 26 July 2016. Witnesses indicate that the young man in question was still wearing handcuffs and tried to escape the torture he had to endure all night .. the witnesses were alerted by the shots fired to prevent him from continuing his flight. SNR agents were able to catch the young man who was injured by the shots, and beat him being handcuffed before the police chief of the province Muramvya intervenes and decides to imprison him in a dungeon known to the police rather than rely on SNR agents.
These agents are often denounced by victims of torture and other inhuman treatment. Abuse they inflict out of sight and in places of detention are not recognized by law, such as the case of this young man tortured in a room located in the same enclosure as the house occupied by the head of SNR in Muramvya .
• Four people were arrested by agents of the National Intelligence Service in Ngozi province (north) on 26 July 2016. It is Joseph Hitimana, Protais Ndagijimana, Mathias and Eliachim Mbarushimana from Rwanda and all worked for a local restaurant. Relatives concerned about the arrests, especially in this time of crisis when the Burundian authorities regularly target in Rwanda, accusing want to destabilize Burundi.
• Six people were arrested by police in the area Kiryama, Songa commune, Bururi province (south) on 27 July 2016. The police fired several times before conducting arrests and passing people to tobacco arrested. Witnesses indicate that the police chief was present during the arrest but that the place of detention was not disclosed to the families and relatives who care for victims’ safety.
• The police also arrested fifty people on the evening of July 27, 2016 in Rumonge province (south). The police authorities said that these people were in three buses and transport are fighters who were preparing to carry out attacks. They also announced the seizure of weapons and military effects in their possession. However, the police refused to give the names of those arrested. It also said nothing about the place and conditions of detention of such persons.
• Police arrested two other people in the Ndonzi sector Maramvya hill town Burambi, Bururi province (south) on 27 July 2016. This is Innocent Sibomana Vital Irambona and two young men arrested their homes. Witnesses report that police were accompanied by administrative officials at the base and Imbonerakure youth affiliated to the CNDD-FDD. Police officers claimed to be looking for authors gunfire heard the day before, but the excavations in households have not worked. Families are worried about the safety of these two young men.
For the second time in the week, police conducted another raid in the Musaga area (south of Bujumbura) on 29 July 2016. About a hundred people were gathered and the police demanded their identity cards and notebooks households. Many have been released but about thirty people, mostly domestic, were taken to the offices of the Musaga area.Mr. Nahisubije arrested by the SNR in a cemetery• A man named Michel Nahisubije was arrested July 29, 2016 at Taba in Bururi province by agents of the National Intelligence Service. This man is also responsible for the local UPRONA party (the wing of the opposition, which is not recognized by the government) as well as technical advisor to the communal administrator of Bururi. His family are concerned about the arrest conducted in a cemetery where M.Nahisubije supervised the preparation work of the grave of his grandfather.
• Ten other people were arrested in Rumonge the home of a former MP named Saleh Mpawenimana dated 29 July 2016. The police first conducted a search before boarding these people in jail in the police Rumonge . All those arrested are relatives of former MP who himself fled fearing for his safety.
3.Assassinats, summary executions and armed attacks listed
• The family of one Joseph Bazirakumbona Muramba of the area, common Bubanza, Bubanza province was attacked on July 22, 2016 at his home. Witnesses (reported by RPP radio), the perpetrators of the attack are Imbonerakure youth affiliated to the party CNDD-FDD to the resort. They ransacked the family property and burned the remains before boarding the wife of Mr. Bazirakumbona. The head of the family had to flee, fearing for his safety; as well as their children. The police did not investigate to arrest the perpetrators of the attack. Local administrative authorities, like the police are also complicit in the violence.
• A young man named Deo was injured during an armed attack in the Ndonzi sector Maramvya hill town Burambi, Bururi province (south) on the evening of 24 July 2016. The perpetrators of the attack are unknown but witnesses speak for reaction retaliatory actions for unsafe acts imputed to the victim who would be an activist of the ruling CNDD-FDD.
• Two men were shot dead July 27, 2016 in Bwiza area (center of Bujumbura). The victims are a taxi driver named Jean Paul Niyonzima and a client named Gasongo he was driving. They were killed on 7th Avenue in front of a hotel (Gloria) by an armed group.
• Three people were shot dead in the evening of 28 July 2016 on the Nyakirwa hill town Gisozi, Mwaro province (central Somalia). The attack took place in a bar in the locality where the victims were having a drink. The perpetrators of the attack are not known but stole those who were there all that they had in their pockets before knocking down two. Witnesses indicate that the third person shot is called Prosper Arakaza ‘January’. Members who intervened announce that last person was part of the group that came to steal and slaughter clients bistro. The attack also wounded four.
4.The disturbing case of a young inmate died
The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi became aware of the case of a young prisoner of Muyinga prison who died at the hospital Muyinga (north) on 25 July 2016. It is Elias Nishemezwe , a 17-year arrested a month earlier in Muyinga on his return from Tanzania. Relatives reported that the young man was sick and asked the authority of Muyinga prison leave to seek treatment, permission was denied repeatedly.
Seeing his condition worsen dramatically, other inmates rioted to demand his transfer to a medical center. The young Elias Nishemezwe however died on arrival at hospital Muyinga then he started vomiting blood. This case of death due to negligence is a criminal act of the authorities of Muyinga prison, where similar cases have occurred.
This is also the case in the Bujumbura jail called Mpimba where a detainee named Busuguru Bienvenu (37 years) died March 12, 2014 for not having been allowed out of prison to receive appropriate care.
5. A police officer convicted of torture pardoned in violation of the law and the Convention against Torture ratified by Burundi
• Police Officer and torturer recidivist, in 2007 Jean Bosco Cishahayo nicknamed ‘Kambanda has been sentenced by the court of first instance of Rutana to a term of seven (7) years’ imprisonment for raping a minor. The officer was released two years after being cleared by the Court of Appeal of Gitega.
• In July 2012 Cishahayo John Bosco tortured to death a citizen of Ruyigi. Prosecutors in Ruyigi had before but never took the matter in hand. Thus the NGO ACAT-Burundi made a direct quote High Court Ruyigi and dated 27/02/2013 John Bosco Cishahayo was convicted and sentenced to five (5) years’ imprisonment and to pay the victim a sum of two million Burundians franc (2,000,000 BIF) in compensation. Prosecutors in Ruyigi that has been characterized by a total inertia for the second time refused to executing the judgment had been rendered by the Tribunal de Grande Instance Ruyigi. In order to make escape the verdict, the Police Directorate has mutated to the torturer Bugendana in Gitega Province.
• A year after the judgment and the refusal of Ruyigi parquet to the implementation judgment, recidivist torturer was again tortured Bugendana a teacher of primary school in Gitega province. With the pressure of ACAT and APRODH organizations, the torturer was finally arrested on 05.06.2014 and immediately appealed; but the Court of Appeal also confirmed the judgment of the High Court of Ruyigi through its judgment RPA 2066 / GIT.
• To our surprise, and in flagrant violation of the commitments made upon ratification of the Convention against Torture as well as the optional protocol that classifies torture offenses among the inalienable and inamnistiables crimes, during the visit of the Secretary General of Nations United in Burundi, the President of the Republic had accepted that he would release two thousand (2,000) prisoners whose convictions were final up date of 31/12/2015. Paradoxically, the reality has been different because the decree 100/41 issue of 23.02.2016 on measures of grace, the torturer John Bosco Cishahayo said ‘Kabanda’ was among those who received the grace of the President and left the prison on 03/23/2016.
• To make up this grace that is contrary to the Convention against Torture and the Optional Protocol, another Supreme Court RPC 3207 fell slightly in after his release and quashed the judgment of the Court of Appeal and Gitega in flagrant violation of the procedure of the appeal; because the parties to the case have never been informed that there was cassation especially a two-month appeal period had been exceeded.
• The SOS-Torture Campaign Burundi condemns this violation of the law and the international legal instruments that Burundi has ratified and request clarifications from the conditions that have been put forward and that made a torturer is on the list of individuals receiving a presidential pardon in flagrant violation of the commitments made by Burundi but also by the President to the Secretary General of the United Nations.