Four Iwacu journalists are seen at the High Court in Bubanza, western Burundi, on December 30, 2019. CPJ today joined a call for their release. (AFP/Tchandrou Nitanga)
The Committee to Protect Journalists joined 64 other press freedom and human rights organizations today in a statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of four journalists with the independent Burundian outlet Iwacu, who were arrested one year ago.
The statement called the journalists’ detention a “stark reminder” of Burundi’s “little tolerance for independent journalism and free speech,” and states that their persecution constitutes a violation of Burundi’s constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The statement urges their release as a “first step towards reopening civic space and recognizing the contribution of reliable media reporting in ensuring access to information.”
Iwacu broadcast reporter Christine Kamikazi, politics desk head Agnès Ndirubusa, English service reporter Egide Harerimana, and photojournalist Térence Mpozenzi were arrested on October 22, 2019, convicted of attempting to undermine state security, and sentenced to 2.5 years each in prison, as CPJ has documented.