Four Iwacu journalists to remain detained and driver to be temporarily released

The Ntahangwa Court of Appeal decided on 20 November to keep detaining four journalists of Iwacu Press Group and to temporarily release their driver.

Four journalists of Iwacu Press Group detained in Bubanza

Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Térence Mpozenzi, Egide Harerimana and their driver Adolphe Masabarakiza have been detained in Bubanza since 22 October.
They are accused by the Bubanza prosecutor of complicity in undermining internal security of the state.

They were arrested when they were going to Musigati Commune of Bubanza Province in the west of Burundi to report on clashes that erupted between armed groups and security forces.

The lawyers of the defendants regret the court’s decision. “We are disappointed because we hoped that the Ntahangwa Court of Appeal would cancel the order to detain the four journalists,” says Clément Retirakiza, one of the lawyers.

The lawyers of the fours journalists and their driver appealed after the Council Chamber of Bubanza High Court decided to maintain them in detention on 31 October 2019.

Retirakiza says the public prosecutor in Bubanza will afterwards transmit the documents of the file of these detainees to the president of Bubanza Court so that the latter fix the day on which these defendants shall appear before the court to plead their innocence.

“We will increase diligence with the Bubanza public prosecutor’s office so that the prosecutor can submit the documents to the court within 30 days,” says Retirakiza, who explains that the detention order is valid for 30 days.