Burundi government threatens media with zero tolerance

Isidore Ntirampeba, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said the Burundian government won’t tolerate any media that wants to abuse the press freedom to undermine public security. “This is clear, we don’t gamble with security and there will be no tolerance”, he said.

Diplomatic and Consular corps present in the meeting

It was in a briefing session for heads of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives of accredited NGOs in Bujumbura city, this November 19.

Mr. Ntirampeba, indeed, said freedom doesn’t mean freedom abuse. “No one is supposed to ignore the law and equally no one is spared in case of law infringement,” he said adding that journalists are like any citizen. He also said if journalists are before the court in violation of the law, this shouldn’t be a pressure for discussion. “Justice is independent and does its job regardless of who you are,” he said.

He also said that the government through the National Media Regulator-CNC continues to sensitize journalists during this pre-election period. “CNC has put in place a code of conduct for the 2020 elections that any media, signatory or not, must follow”, he said adding that out of 43 media, 42 already signed it on October 17.

The permanent secretary has also reminded the international community that it has no reason to be hostile to the development and choice of Burundians towards peace and sustainable development.