Powered by TNTSearch

Burundi: Bujumbura Court of Appeal upholds conviction of journalist Floriane Irangabiye
Communiqué  Posté le 10:03 03-05-2023, modifié le 10:03 03-05-2023 par Tournons la Page

May 03, 2023 - Tournons la Page Burundi (TLP-Burundi) learned with indignation the decision of the Court of Appeal of Bujumbura Mairie confirming the unjustified conviction of journalist Floriane IRANGABIYE, a decision that came on the eve of International Press Freedom Day.

On May 2, 2023, the Court of Appeal of Bujumbura Mairie upheld the conviction of Floriane IRANGABIYE to ten years' imprisonment and a fine of BIF 1,000,000 after her appearance before the same court in an appeal trial on March 30, 2023. The journalist of Radio Igicaniro had been sentenced by the High Court of Mukaza in the first degree on January 3, 2023 to the same penalties.

As a reminder, Floriane IRANGABIYE was arrested on August 30, 2022 by agents of the National Intelligence Service (SNR) in Burundi. She was first incarcerated at the SNR headquarters in Bujumbura, where she did not have the right to the assistance of a lawyer and visits from her family. She was questioned about her work at Radio Igicaniro, which she was accused of collaborating with the armed opposition without providing any evidence. At the end of September 2022, she was transferred to Muyinga prison in the north of the country.

During an appearance before the High Court of Mukaza in Muyinga on September 28, 2022, Ms. IRANGABIYE was accused of undermining the integrity of the national territory of Burundi, and of working as a journalist without accreditation.

The criminalization of the journalist Floriane IRANGABIYE shows once again the intolerance of the power of Gitega to the exercise of freedom of expression, freedom of the press and to any critical contribution worthy of a State of Law. of a state governed by the rule of law.

The trial of Floriane IRANGABIYE demonstrates once again that the Burundian justice system is instrumentalized by the executive power determined to muzzle the work of human rights defenders.

From the above,
Tournons la Page Burundi (TLP-Burundi) requests the competent Burundian authorities to :

  • Ensure a fair trial by overturning this unjust conviction and releasing Floriane IRANGABIYE as soon as possible and without conditions;
  • Create an environment that allows all human rights defenders in Burundi to work freely without fear of restrictions or reprisals, including judicial harassment;
  • Guarantee freedom of the press and freedom of expression as the foundation of a democratic society to which Burundi should aspire incessantly;
  • Put an end to the various manipulations of the Burundian justice system which have become a tool of repression against Burundian citizens in general and human rights defenders in particular.

Done on May 03, 2023

Coordinator of TLP-Burundi