Burundi Officials Arrest Rwandan Journalist Over Spying | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Burundi Officials Arrest Rwandan Journalist Over Spying

Posted: Jun 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


A Rwandan journalist has been arrested and charged for “spying” in neighbouring Burundi, law officials said Friday, as the country clamps down on media whom they blame for organising anti-government protests.

Etienne Besabesa Mivumbu, reportedly working for the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) was arrested on Monday carrying a voice recorder and camera in the North East Giteranyi district, local prosecutor, Ernest Nduwimana, said.

“We charged him with spying because he was a journalist who sought information without accreditation,” Nduwimana said, adding that Mivumba was being held in custody.

Burundi has been in crisis since late April over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive five-year term, a move branded by opponents as unconstitutional and a violation of a 2006 peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war.

The government on Thursday said protests had ended, and that the remaining demonstrators were only being organised by journalists. Opposition leaders have dismissed the claim.

Several journalists who have been covering Burundi’s crisis, which has seen weeks of street demonstrations, a violent police crackdown and a failed coup attempt by a section of the army, have complained of being subjected to threats — including death threats — by members of the police or other branches of the security forces.