Journalist detained by police, released two days later

Evariste Ngoyagoye, Archbishop of Bujumbura.

Evariste Ngoyagoye, Archbishop of Bujumbura.

A journalist who had been detained by the police and sent to the public prosecution office has been freed this Thursday.

Joseph Bananeno, a benevolent journalist of Radio Maria, was arrested by the police on Tuesday over charges of “incitement to public disorder”.

Unconfirmed reports say the journalist had shared via whatsapp information about an armed man who was suspected of seeking to shoot Archbishop Evariste Ngoyagoye.

The archbishop was leading ceremonies of the sacrament of confirmation at Saint Augustin Catholic Church in Buyenzi area in Bujumbura town on Sunday.

The reports say churchgoers called the police when they saw the man armed with a pistol. The police then escorted him out.

Pierre Nkurikiye, Spokesman for the Police, said journalist Bananeno had “spread false information about something bad that was reportedly going to happen”.

The police arrested the journalist at his home on Tuesday afternoon and detained him for “questioning.

Today Thursday, he was sent to the public prosecution office that freed him after fining him BIF 100 thousands.

Another journalist of Radio Maria had been arrested in October 2016 along with nine other people in Bujumbura. They were accused of holding a meeting to plan the collection of food for armed groups. The suspects said they were in a prayer meeting.

Presidential pardon freed the journalist and the other inmates in February 2017 after spending five months in prison.