The Human Rights association-Ligue Iteka is no longer allowed to work in Burundi from 21 December. Pascal Barandagiye, Interior Minister, says the association has not ceased its actions to tarnish the image of Burundi since its temporary suspension on 24 October 2016. “Ligue-Iteka is recalcitrant and sows hatred and division within the Burundian community”, he says.
The Minister says the Commission of Inquiry on the insurrectionary movement has ordered a complete ban of the “Ligue Iteka” association among the civil society organizations working on the Burundian territory.
Anshaire Nikoyagize, Chairman of the Human Rights association – Ligue Iteka, says the ministerial ordinance will not change anything about the associations’ activities. “This suspension will not in any way hamper the attainment of the association’s goals. We will keep informing the national and international community even if the threats against us continue to increase”, he says.
Beside Ligue Iteka, there are five other civil society organizations completely suspended and four others which were provisionally suspended on 24 October by the interior ministry.
“Ligue Iteka”, in conjunction with the International Federation for Human Rights-FIDH, published a report on 15 November about “Repression and genocidal dynamics in Burundi”. Burundi government refuted the allegations it contained.
The 200–page report identified the crimes committed in Burundi since April 2015 and reported a death toll reaching 1,000 people, the detention of 8,000 people for political motives, the disappearance of between 300 and 800 people, the ill-treatment of hundreds of people, sexual abuse of several women and girls, thousands of cases of arbitrary arrests and the flight of about 300,000 refugees.