Iwacu journalists remain in pre-trial detention

The High Court of Bubanza has decided to remand in custody four journalists of Iwacu Press Group who are Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Térence Mpozenzi, Egide Harerimana and Adolphe Masabarakiza, their driver.

The verdict was rendered on October 31around 11 a.m. by three judges namely Bernard Hakiza, Emile Nduwayo and Arlène Citegetse.

In his presentation, Jean Marie Vianney Ntamikevyo, the officer of the public prosecutor and investigating magistrate has argued that there are proofs of guilt.

Each accused has received their notification of their pre-trial detention stating that the court made that decision because the offense with which they are charged is punishable by at least one year of imprisonment and that the circumstances of the offense are absolutely remarkable. According the same notification, the accused may appeal within five days.

The Iwacu reporters had appeared on October 29 before the Bubanza Council Chamber for ‘complicity in undermining the internal security of state.’
As for Iwacu, it says it will appeal arguing that these journalists are innocent.

Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Térence Mpozenzi, Egide Harerimana and their driver Adolphe Masabarakiza were arrested on October 22 when they went to Musigati Commune of Bubanza Province in the west of Burundi to report on clashes that erupted between armed groups and security forces.
Several national and international human rights organizations, journalists’ associations and some politicians call for the release of these journalists.