Burundi / Media: Iwacu journalists kept in police custody in Bubanza

A team of Iwacu news reporters namely Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Térence Mpozenzi, Egide Harerimana and their driver Adolphe Masabarakiza were arrested on Tuesday, October 22 around noon in Musigati commune of Bubanza province in the west of Burundi where heavy gunfire was heard this morning.

They were arrested by the chief of police operations in this region. The arrested journalists had, however, announced themselves to administrative authorities of Bubanza that they wanted to go to Musigati commune where clashes between the police and a group of armed people going to Kibira forest were reported since the morning.

These armed people came from Rukoko Natural Reserve, bordering the DRC. They were reported in Mpanda, Gihanga and Mitakataka before returning to Kibira via Musigati. They reportedly abducted people, most of whom were released later.

Iwacu journalists are currently detained at the provincial police station in Bubanza. Their equipment and mobile phones have been confiscated.

The Independent National Commission for Human Rights is already contacted and promises to follow this case and deploy immediately a team on the ground to inquire about the situation.