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March 21, 2014

Burundi: Authorities poised to move against popular radio station

Burundi’s most popular radio station, privately-owned Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), is under the threat of closure because of its coverage of the current political unrest, according to Reporters Without Borders . Burundi’s Security Council, a body headed by the president, issued a statement on March 16 accusing RPA and other media of “sowing fear in the population” and calling on the National Communication Council (CNC), of which new bureau members were appointed last week, to take... MORE
January 9, 2014

Constitutional court quashes some articles, but not enough

In response to a petition from the Union of Burundian Journalists (UBJ), the Constitutional Court has quashed certain provisions of the media law that was promulgated on 4 June 2013. The court’s ruling, issued on 7 January, invalidated articles providing for huge increases in fines and other penalties that could be imposed on journalists in an arbitrary manner. “While we obviously approve the suppression of these articles, we deplore the fact that other draconian provisions are still in effect... MORE
May 17, 2011

Burundi: Online newspaper editor freed after 10 months in detention

Online newspaper editor Jean-Claude Kavumbagu was released on May 16 after being acquitted on a charge of treason for questioning in an article whether Burundi would be able to protect itself against a terrorist attack by Somalia’s Islamist militia Al-Shabaab, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). Prosecutors had requested a life sentence last month on April 13. When dismissing the treason charge on May 13, the Bujumbura court nonetheless sentenced... MORE
April 12, 2011

Burundi must free Kavumbagu, halt flawed prosecution

New York-based press freedom organisation Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged Burundi Justice Minister Ancilla Ntakaburimvo to intervene in the case of Jean-Claude Kavumbagu , editor of the news website NetPress who has been improperly imprisoned since July 17, 2010, on a charge of treason. In a letter to the minister, CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon urged the state prosecutor to drop the pending charge against Kavumbagu and secure his release. The government has jailed Kavumbagu... MORE
December 30, 2010

Call for the release of Burundi journalist after nearly six months in custody

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has called on the authorities in Burundi to release journalist Jean-Claude Kavumbagu, who has been held in custody for nearly six months at Mpimba prison in the capital Bujumbura. No trial has yet been opened in the case. “Jean-Claude Kavumbagu should be released immediately. He was arrested last July and is about to begin the year 2011 behind bars without ever being put on trial. Pre-trial detention should remain an exceptional... MORE
December 10, 2010

CPJ meets jailed Burundian journalist, calls for his release

New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called for the release of journalist Jean-Claude Kavumbagu after visiting him in prison in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. CPJ made the call at a press conference marking the end of a four-day mission to Burundi. CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney and East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes on Thursday met Kavumbagu, editor of the French-language news site Net Press, at Mpimba Prison on Wednesday for more than an hour. The... MORE
November 7, 2010

Two newspaper journalists held in Burundi for 48 hours without being told why

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed concern over the way authorities in Burundi are treating two journalists employed by the newspaper Iwacu , Elyse Ngabire and Dieudonné Hakizimana, who were arrested for unknown reasons on November 5, held incommunicado for 48 hours and released at noon Sunday. They have been told to appear before Bujumbura police chief Arthémon Nzitabakuze on November 9 but it is still not known what they are alleged to have done. “We... MORE
August 13, 2010

Burundi frees journalist after two days in detention

Burundian authorities freed the director of a weekly publication arrested this week on defamation charges, the journalist said Friday. Thierry Ndayishimiye, the director of the Arc-en-ciel weekly, was released on Thursday, two days after he was detained over an article in which he accused the director of the national water and electricity firm of trying to cover up embezzlement of $110,000. "Yesterday (Thursday) I was called to go see my wife and children who came to visit me when all over... MORE
August 12, 2010

In Burundi, 2nd editor arrested in less than a month

Burundian police on Tuesday arrested Thierry Ndayishimiye, chief editor of the private weekly Arc-en-Ciel , on defamation charges related to a story about alleged government corruption, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Ndayishimiye is the second Burundian editor to be jailed in less than a month. The state prosecutor summoned Ndayishimiye to a court in the capital, Bujumbura, and then placed him in Mpimba Prison, defence lawyer Gabriel... MORE
July 18, 2010

Burundi journalist detained for questioning security forces

Burundi police arrested a journalist for alleged "treason" Saturday over an article questioning whether the security forces could deal with an attack like one that hit Uganda a week ago, an official said, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The July 11 bombings in Kampala claimed by Al Qaeda-inspired rebels killed at least 73 people watching the World Cup final in what the insurgents said was retaliation for Ugandan troops serving in Somalia, where Burundi also has soldiers participating... MORE