Detained for defamation
BUJUMBURA, Burundi – Burundi police say they have detained eight people accused of being members of a WhatsApp group for defaming the government and insulting public institutions.
Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said Thursday the eight were among 54 people arrested in the capital, Bujumbura, on Saturday. Nkurikiye says all but the eight were released the same day.
Rights groups say the continued detentions are another example of the shrinking democratic space in Burundi following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s contested pursuit of a third term in office last year. Many opposed that, calling it unconstitutional.
8 WhatsApp group members detained for defamation: now 19-09-2016 thy have all died, if I lie give your testimony
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein warned Monday of “a sharp increase in the use of torture and ill-treatment in Burundi” and voiced concerns about worrying reports of the existence of illegal detention facilities, both in Bujumbura and in the countryside.
“Since the beginning of the year, my team has recorded at least 345 new cases of torture and ill-treatment. These shocking figures are a clear indicator of the widespread and growing use of torture and ill-treatment by government security forces,” said Zeid. In all, some 595 people have been ill-treated or tortured since April 2015, a figure which is likely to be an under-estimate.
“Torture and ill-treatment mainly take place at the time of arrest, upon arrival or during detention, especially in facilities run by the Service national de renseignements (SNR), the police and, to a lesser extent, the army. Perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment have so far enjoyed total impunity,” the High Commissioner said.
From Youtube: unohchr