Verdict on four detained Iwacu journalists to be announced within 30 days

The Ntahangwa Court of Appeal has adjourned for further deliberation the trial of four journalists of Iwacu Press Group detained in Bubanza Province after being heard in public audience on Wednesday 6 May.

Four journalists of Iwacu Press Group have appeared before the Court of Appeal

Four journalists of Iwacu Press Group, namely Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Térence Mpozenzi and Egide Harerimana appeared on 6 May before the Court of Appeal of Ntahangwa.

The hearing took place in Bubanza High Court. After three hours of hearing, the court adjourned the trial. “The court will announce its decision within 30 days.”

Clément Retirakiza, one of the lawyers of these four journalists, hopes that the Court of Appeal will apply the law.
Bubanza High Court sentenced them on 30 January 2020 to two years and six months in jail and a payment of a fine of BIF one million each. They are accused of “an impossible complicity in undermining the internal security of the state.”

Lawyers of the four journalists appealed on 21 February 2020. “Bubanza District Court had rendered a judgment without giving defendants time to defend themselves. That is the reason why we appealed,” says Retirakiza.

The four journalists were arrested on 22 October 2019 when they were in Musigati Commune in Bubanza Province in the west of Burundi to make a report on the clashes that erupted between security forces and armed forces. They were accused of being accomplices to the rebels who attacked the country.