Government satisfied with press freedom in Burundi while RSF worries

The Ministry of Communication and the Reporter Without Borders NGO appreciate differently the situation of freedom of the press in Burundi.

The Ministry of Communication and the RSF appreciate differently the situation of freedom of the press in Burundi

“We reiterate the commitment of the ministry of communication to guarantee press freedom in accordance with the law in force” said Frédéric Nahimana, Minister of Communication, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day celebrated on May 3rd.

“This day is celebrated after the government’s remarkable efforts to promote press freedom,” he continues, citing some documents adopted in this order namely the code of ethics and deontology of journalism and press law.

Minister Nahimana says the number of radio and television channels, news agencies and newspapers operating on Burundian territory prove that press freedom is effectively guaranteed.
The international NGO Reporter Without Borders, however, complains that press freedom is restricted. “Burundian journalists continue to flee into exile for fear of reprisals,” says RSF.

RSF does not hope the situation will improve soon arguing that the Burundian President imposes strict censorship of the media. “Through sessions the President organizes to improve the moral of the population, he draws up guidelines to journalists on information processing in Burundi.”
RSF also deplores the suspension of international radio broadcasts VOA and BBC on Burundian territory. “Their suspension is maintained for arbitrary reasons,” according to RSF.

RSF ranked Burundi the 159th out of 180 countries assessed in terms of press freedom in the 2018 world rankings. It explained that “most independent radios remain closed, dozens of journalists are still forced into exile.”