African Press Association
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

NGOs bullied for exposing Burundi atrocities

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

BUJUMBURA – CRISIS-torn Burundi is accused of unleashing a campaign to harass and muzzle human rights defenders exposing government atrocities.

The latest victim of the crackdown by the government of President Pierre Nkurunziza is the Iteka League, the East African country’s oldest rights groups whose licence has been cancelled and operations outlawed.

It has been denouncing the massive human rights violations recorded in the country since the beginning of the crisis in April 2015 when Nkurunziza clung to power after the expiry of his second term.

More than 400 people have been killed and 300 000 displaced during the crisis.

In November, Iteka exposed killings, kidnappings, disappearances, torture, rape, mass detentions and held the president liable to the atrocities.

It has lost its licence as the National Assembly recently adopted two bills to closely monitor the action of local and international NGOs.

Other NGOs have been deregistered.

The International Federation of Human Rights denounced the moves as absurd and fatal.

Minister of the Interior Pascal Barandagiye, said Iteka tarnished the image of the country and sought to divide the Burundian community.

– CAJ News