23 Aug

The Identity Of The Alleged Assassins Is Kept Hidden By The Police As Well As Their Conditions Of Detention

In this SOS-Torture report of 16 to 23 July 2016, we recall the arbitrary arrests that continued with more intensity in the city of Bujumbura including Musaga area described by the Bujumbura power of protest area of ​​the 3rd term of the President of the Republic Pierre Nkurunziza.

Dozens of people have been victims daily raids in Musaga, selected for hours at the chief town of the area. Ransoming forced led by officers of the police force has become a habit, and the only hope for the people victims of these raids can recover their freedom soon.
In addition to these raids, fourteen people were arrested earlier by the police, sometimes by agents of the National Service of renseignements.A Makamba in the south of the country, sharpened youth party CNDD-FDD power recurred in illegally conducting arrests, sometimes with beatings to the victims.

The report also mentions the arrest police said three suspects in the murder of the member of EALA Hafsa Mossi shot dead in Bujumbura dated 13.07.2016. The identity of the alleged assassins is kept hidden by the police as well as their conditions of detention.

1. Arbitrary arrests, abductions and enforced disappearances continue

• Police conducted a raid dated July 16, 2016 in Buringa area Gihanga commune, Bubanza province (a few kilometers west of Bujumbura). About twenty targeted households were searched and the occupants gathered in the same place for hours. Witnesses indicate that gathered people were beaten and robbed of their belongings by police officers accompanied by soldiers. These roundup operations are increasingly carried out by police who benefits from the ‘chaos’ to steal money and demand for bribes in exchange for the release of the victims of untimely arrest.

• A young man named Jean Claude Nkunzimana was arrested on the evening of July 16, 2016 in the town Mabanda, Makamba province (south). The arrest is illegal because it was conducted by youth ‘Imbonerakure’ of the ruling CNDD-FDD accompanied by police. No warrant was presented and the search conducted at the home of the young man was allowed no input, while ‘Imbonerakure’ accused of belonging to a rebel group. Relatives and legal professionals denounce this attitude as an arbitrary arrest. The young man is detained in jail Town Makamba.

• Another young man named Jean Claude Nimubona was arrested dated July 15, 2016 in the town Kibago, Makamba province (south). The operation was conducted by police but the decision to stop it emanates from the National Intelligence Service. The young man is accused of endangering the internal security of the state but relatives report that it is a mere pretext that the authority has found to punish those who participated in protests against the third term of President Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza in April and May 2015. the young man went to Kibago for lifting final mourning his mother planned the next day ceremonies he was not allowed to participate.

• Three other men were arrested illegally by young ‘Imbonerakure’ in the Commune and Province Makamba (south) on 17 July 2016. This is Kevin Niyibitegeka, embedded Emmanuel Ndayirata and Nestor Nibitanga for dungeon Makamba police. Witnesses indicate that the three men were assaulted and tied up and taken away in a police vehicle, and that the presence of the governor of Makamba province. Youth affiliated to the ruling party regularly operate such operations in various localities as Burundian law allows only police and prosecutors to conduct an arrest. No other authority has the powers to make an arrest, much less the young political party as long as they have not invested in the quality of “CPO”. They unfortunately with the connivance of the administrative and police authorities, as provincial commissioners of police and some provincial governors.

• Five young men were arrested July 17, 2016 by police in the town Mwumba, Ngozi province (north). Those arrested are students (5 boys and 1 girl) living in the IDP site in Ngozi Ruhororo who traveled to Rwanda. No violations were alleged to these young people. Relatives denounce arbitrary and abusive arrests and demand their release.

• Another raid was conducted as of July 18, 2016 in Musaga area (south of Bujumbura). Witnesses indicate that a hundred people were arrested by the police and forced to pay bribes to be released. After this raid, someone was shipped to the dungeon of the Musaga area.

• Agents of the National Intelligence Service arrested a man named Placide at his home located at 13th Avenue neighborhood Nyakabiga II (center of Bujumbura) dated 20 July 2016. The operation was conducted by Joseph Mathias Niyonzima service information, very quoted in crimes including extrajudicial executions since the beginning of the crisis in April 2015 (cfr SOS-Torture reports Burundi No. 3, 5, 9 and 10). Witnesses say he has publicly threatened to kill the relatives and the man arrested.

• Police arrested three men in the area Buringa, Gihanga commune, Bubanza province (a few kilometers west of Bujumbura) dated July 20, 2016 in the evening. Of the three men face a local political representative of the opposition party MSD Immanuel Nibaruta; a former soldier named Théodore Nsengiyumva who is currently an elected hilly and Gérard Nsabimana. Witnesses indicate that the three victims were locked in an unofficial place of detention, then held the next day in the dungeon of Bubanza police. Families and relatives fear for their safety because having been informed that they have suffered acts of torture soon after their arrests.

• The police conducted another raid in the Musaga area (south of Bujumbura) on 21 July 2016. At least one hundred fifty (150) people were systematically arrested and gathered in groups for hours without cause. the police officers demanded that fighters surrender. After being forcibly kept, one hundred and fifty (150) people were released. These raids untimely and unjustified constitute intimidation and harassment of the inhabitants of the city of Bujumbura; they are conducted mainly in the districts known protest of the 3rd term of the President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza but Musaga area is particularly targeted.

2.killings, summary executions and armed attacks listed

• A man named Polycardo was injured in an armed attack at his home on Murago hill town Ndava, Mwaro province (center of the country) in the evening of 14 July 2016. The victim is a member of the ruling party merchant CNDD-FDD who recognized his attackers. Three of them were arrested in possession of grenades and it turns out they are part of the league ‘Imbonerakure’ young CNDD-FDD party. Witnesses in the neighborhood are very concerned because these arrests confirm that civilians youth of the ruling party are in illegal possession of weapons with the knowledge of local authorities. It also observes the complicity of members of the security services and the judiciary who have decided to release the three suspects arrested yet in possession of weapons.

• A man was shot in the Bwiza area (center of Bujumbura) in the evening of 18 July 2016. The victim’s name is Vedaste. Witnesses say he was murdered by two gunmen as he was returning home .

• A woman called Capitoline Ntarwimo was murdered on the evening of July 19, 2016 at his home in Rubona area Mugina commune, Cibitoke province (north-west). Witnesses report that the victim was killed by knives and three children were injured. The body found wrapped in a bag 

  • A body of a murdered man was discovered on July 20, 2016 in the Kajaga district Mutimbuzi commune, Bujumbura province. The victim, who was not identified was subsequently packed in a bag. .
  1. Three arrested in the case of former MP Hafsa Mossi
    The National Police said it had arrested Thursday, July 21, 2016 three suspects in the case of the assassination of the Burundian Member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Hafsa Mossi (see SOS-Torture report Burundi No. 31). However, it has not disclosed the names of the arrested suspects but adds that the alleged perpetrators have confessed to have received “orders and funding from other elements based in Kigali.”This announcement is very vague and does not know the suspects detention conditions or if they have all the necessary safeguards provided by law for the manifestations of the truth. Their place of detention has also not disclosed.

4. High school students accused of loose scrawl

After nearly a month in detention, six Rumonge students were released on 22 July 2016. They were arrested June 25, 2016 to scrawl the picture of President Burundians found in textbooks (see report SOS-Torture Burundi No. 28).

With these releases, there are still eleven students detained in the country for these scribbles, seven are in Muramvya and four more in Cankuzo. The fate of these students, prosecuted for insulting the Head of State, is exaggerated even more no proof of guilt has been established by the police or prosecution before.