The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today denounced charges against Burundian journalist Jean Bosco Ndayiragije, head of the private radio station, Radio Publique Africaine(RPA) who was interrogated on July 27 by Mrs. Capitoline Havyarimana, a deputy prosecutor in the province of Ngozi (Northern Burundi), for broadcasting information which was critical of the justice system in Burundi.
“This summon is not justified, especially as the radio only relayed the opinions of the populations on the problems which they encounter with the judiciary,” declared Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office. “These media reports contribute to reinforce democracy.”
On July 27, Jean Bosco Ndayiragije, the head of the RPA which is based in the province of Ngozi (Northern of Burundi) was summoned to the office of the prosecutor general for broadcasting information relating the public criticism of the performance of the personnel of the judiciary. The deputy prosecutor requested the journalist to hand over the interviews tapes and other elements of his reports on the issue. Jean Bosco Ndayiragije declined to do so without conferring with his lawyer and he was asked to report back after one month, according to the Burundian Association of the Journalists.
The journalist who carried out the report, Marc Kirura and the interviewee Stany Mbazumutima, a human rights defender in the Iteka league of Ngozi was also summoned on July 23 for the same case.
The president of Burundian Association of Journalists, Alexandre Niyungeko, condemned this process which violates press freedom.
“The time of intimidations of journalists is over; journalists must exercise their profession, free from any interference and in line with professional benchmarks,” added Niyungeko who call on media professionals to show their independence and not to be impressed by the intimidations wherever they come from.
The IFJ calls on Burundian authorities to put an end to legal proceedings against the journalist and for more tolerance to reinforce freedom of expression and press freedom which constitute pillars of democracy in the country.
For more information contact the IFJ at + 221 33 867 95 87
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide