Burundian journalists plead for release of their colleagues from Iwacu

“They have just spent a month in jail while they didn’t commit any crime,” says a journalist working for a local radio station.

The detained Iwacu news reporters

For him, the four Iwacu news reporters were simply doing their daily job. “This is not the first time journalists are arrested. But the authorities shout out loud that the freedom of the press is respected, which is not the case,” he says adding that justice should impartially deal with their case and release them. “They are innocent,” he says.

J.H, another journalist who has requested anonymity says there is no hope from the authorities. “They leave the responsibility to justice instead of pleading for the journalists’ release,” she says adding that the truth will end up triumphing. “They didn’t do anything wrong that would cost them their freedom”, she says.

Another journalist says the decision to keep the four journalists in detention doesn’t encourage Burundian journalists especially in the run up to the 2020 elections.
“It will not be easy to report on facts on the ground knowing that we would be arrested while looking for information,” he says.

Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Egide Harerimana, Térence Mpozenzi and their driver Adolphe Masabarakiza were arrested in Musigati commune in Bubanza province when they were trying to get the information on heavy gunfire that were heard in the dawn of October 22.
Bubanza public prosecutor accused them of “complicity in undermining the state internal security” five days after their arrest.

On November 20, The Ntahangwa Court of Appeal decided to keep detaining them and to temporarily release their driver.