Amnesty International says Burundi security forces used torture on president’s opponents

By Editorial Board - 24 August 2015 at 6:15 pm
ALTERNATIVE RECROP OF  XJD110--Two soldiers accused of taking part in the fizzled coup attempt are handcuffed together as they  face charges in the courtroom in  Bujumbura, Burundi, Saturday  May 16, 2015. Topless, barefoot and with wounds from alleged torture seventeen security officials, including five generals appeared before a prosecutor who is expected to file treason charges against them over the attempted coup of President Pierre Nkurunziza, lawyers of some of the suspects said Saturday. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Amnesty International has released a statement saying that Burundi’s security forces used torture on those whom they suspected to be opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza during his bid for his controversial third term.

The report written by the rights group details torture and ill treatment used on “persons who belong to, or are perceived as belonging to, the political opposition”. It also noted that these techniques of violence are only spreading and getting worse.

“The testimonies we received are as devastating as they are disturbing since torture and other ill-treatment are prohibited both by Burundi’s Constitution and by international and regional treaties Burundi is party to,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

One man told Amnesty “they told me if you don’t confess, we’ll kill you. But I said how can I confess when I know nothing—you’ll have to just tell me what to confess to”. In the report it states that he was detained and tortured by the National Intelligence Service in June 2015.

The government has yet to respond to the allegations brought against it by Amnesty International.

Editorial Board

Editorial Board

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