The African Editors Forum condemns, in the strongest terms, the prison terms imposed on Burundian journalists, who were tried and convicted for merely doing their work.
The Burundian law enforcement agencies apprehended Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Egide Harerimana and Térence Mpozenzi in the middle of interviews with citizens involved in protest action.
All that the journalists did was to ask questions and take pictures. And for that, they were detained for months without trial, until brought to trial.
In the process of their unjustified arrests, police illegally confiscated material from the reporters and a female journalist, Christine Kamikazi, was severely assaulted by the police.
TAEF not only strongly condemns the imprisonment of the journalists but calls for their immediate release. “Journalism is not a crime. The government must release journalists without delay.
The criminals who should be in jail are the law enforcement authorities who interfered with
journalists doing their work and proceeded to assault a female member of the crew,” said TAEF chairperson Jovial Rantao.
TAEF express solidarity with the Burundian journalists and their colleagues in East Africa, who continue to work under challenging conditions.