Iwacu news reporters spend second night in Bubanza police custody

Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Térence Mpozenzi, Egide Harerimana-Iwacu news reporters and their driver Adolphe Masabarakiza arrested on 22 October in Musigati commune in Bubanza province have been heard by a judicial police officer this Wednesday October 23. According to their lawyer, there hasn’t been any charge against them after the interrogation. Some politicians call on justice officials to deal carefully with this case.

Four news reporters arrested and their driver

Abdul Kassim, Chairman of UPD party said they have been unjustly arrested. “They have introduced themselves to the authorities and they were in possession of their identification documents”, he also said.

Kassim also said there is no law preventing them from covering any event that happens in the locality. “Their cases should be carefully analyzed as Burundi Constitution guarantees the access to information”, he said.

The same view is shared by Térence Manirambona, Spokesperson for CNL party. He said those journalists had the right to perform their daily activities. Otherwise, he said, preventing them from working facilitate the spreading of rumors.

As for Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, Chairman of Radebu party, those journalists have been arrested for investigation. “I wonder whether or not it was a simple reportage or complicity? We should wait for the investigation results”, he said.

The four news reporters were arrested in Musigati commune in Bubanza province on 22 October when they went to report on clashes between the Burundian security forces and a group of armed men.

According to Burundi police, 14 gun men were killed and 11 guns seized. Moise Nkurunziza, Deputy Spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security, says it was a group of 18 armed men who intended to commit the similar carnage perpetrated in Ruhagarika locality in Cibitoke province on 18 April 2018 when they killed 26 people. “They were dismantled”, he said.