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Burundi

2011

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Stark regional differences are seen as jailings grow significantly in the Middle East and North Africa. Dozens of journalists are held without charge, many in secret prisons. A CPJ special report

Journalists reporting on protests and civil unrest face a rising threat of detention. Here, Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian journalist. (Reuters)


New York, November 30, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the ongoing detention of a radio journalist in Burundi since Monday.

Burundi media defy censorship order

A woman mourns at the burial of a man killed in the Gatumba shooting. (Reuters)

Tensions between the Burundi government and the local press are bound to increase as several media this week defied an order not to investigate or discuss a recent massacre. While officials say the measure is "temporary" and necessary to safeguard national unity and the course of justice, independent journalists are asserting their right to publish information in the interest of public accountability.

Rugurika (CPJ)

It's possible that no journalist in the world has received more court summonses in recent weeks than Editor Bob Rugurika of Burundi's Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), a station founded by CPJ award-winner Alexis Sinduhije.

On Tuesday, for the fifth time since July 18, Rugurika was interrogated by a magistrate in the capital, Bujumbura, about programs aired by his station, according to news reports and CPJ research. The magistrate allegedly asked Rugurika to "correct" a broadcast that pointed out that a 1996 U.N. report had implicated an official involved in the setting up of Burundi's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in a massacre, RPA Editor-in-Chief Eric Manirakiza told CPJ.

Burundi journalists march on World Press Freedom Day. (Jean Pierre Aimé HARERIMANA)

New York, August 3, 2011--The government of Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza is attempting to silence critical press coverage of his administration with incessant judicial harassment of two of the country's leading independent broadcasters, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Kavumbagu (AFP)
As recently as April, the state prosecutor in Burundi demanded journalist Jean-Claude Kavumbagu be put away for life. But just a month later, Africa's only jailed online journalist was a free man. A relentless international campaign by press freedom groups, human rights activists and Western governments had paid off.

New York, May 17, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of online editor Jean-Claude Kavumbagu of Net Press on Monday but still questions the original charges placed against him. The High Court dropped charges of treason on May 13 but sentenced Kavumbagu to eight months in prison and a fine of 100,000 Burundian francs (US$80) for publishing "information that discredits the state and economy," according to defense lawyer Gabriel Sinarinzi. Authorities released Kavumbagu on Monday since he had already spent 10 months at Mpimba Prison in the capital, Bujumbura. 

New York, April 27, 2011--Burundi's state-run media regulator suspended a popular radio talk show on Monday because of accusations made by a caller about the president, according to news reports and local journalists.

New York, April 14, 2011--A Burundi state prosecutor asked a panel of judges on Wednesday to hand journalist Jean-Claude Kavumbagu, who has been imprisoned since July 2010 over a column critical of the country's security forces, the maximum life sentence on a charge of treason, according to local journalists.

2011

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Killed in Burundi

2 journalists killed since 1992

2 journalists murdered

2 murdered with impunity

Contact

Africa

Program Coordinator:
Sue Valentine

Advocacy Coordinator:
Mohamed Keita

East Africa Consultant:
Tom Rhodes

West Africa Consultant:
Peter Nkanga

svalentine@cpj.org
mkeita@cpj.org
trhodes@cpj.org
pnkanga@cpj.org

Tel: 212-465-1004
ext. 117
Fax: 212-465-9568

330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10001 USA

Twitter: @africamedia_CPJ

Blog: Sue Valentine
Blog: Mohamed Keita
Blog: Tom Rhodes
Blog: Peter Nkanga