Burundi: The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights once again condemns Burundi over a case of extrajudicial execution
In its decision in the case of the Family of the late Jackson Ndikuriyo v. Burundi, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) recognises the extrajudicial nature of Mr Ndikuriyo’s death and (once again!) calls on Burundi “to put in place mechanisms to combat widespread impunity for extrajudicial executions.”
ACAT-Burundi, APRODH, FOCODE, FORSC and TRIAL International welcome the African Commission’s decision in the case concerning the late Jackson Ndikuriyo, a case that these NGOs had brought to the Commission’s attention in 2014.
Mr Jackson Ndikuriyo, a former police officer, was extrajudicially executed on 26 August 2010 after being arrested by the police. At the end of 2009, he had publicly denounced the corruption rampant within the Burundi National Police. Arbitrarily detained without charge from December 2009 to January 2010, he continued to speak out, leading to his dismissal from the police in August 2010. Faced with mounting pressure and death threats from members of the national police force, Mr Ndikuriyo was forced to go underground, which was not enough to protect him.
The death of Mr Ndikuriyo “was a huge loss for our family, who counted on him so much”, recalls a close friend. The late Ndikuriyo left behind three children, among others. Albert (alias) was delighted to learn of the African Commission’s decision. “It’s really very good news for me to learn that an international body has recognised the reality of the violations to which the deceased and we other members of his family were subjected. It’s a real relief, even if it doesn’t bring back our own who disappeared”, declared Albert, when we went through the decision with him.
“We weren’t even allowed to bury him with dignity,” added Albert. Indeed, the family was never able to see the remains of the late Ndikuriyo or even organise a dignified burial, despite repeated requests to do so.
The African Commission also concluded that the facts of the case reveal “acts of moral torture” perpetrated not only against Mr Jackson Ndikuriyo, but also against his family. In its decision, the African Commission calls on the Burundian authorities to “conduct a thorough investigation […] into the execution of the victim” and to “grant the beneficiaries […] adequate and sufficient reparation as well as the necessary medical and psychological assistance”. However, the implementation of this decision ultimately depends on the political will of the Burundian authorities.
ACAT-Burundi, APRODH, FOCODE, FORSC and TRIAL International call on the Burundian authorities to implement the decisions of the African Commission addressed to them, including this one. It is vital for Burundi to engage promptly in a credible and sustainable justice process so that those responsible for serious crimes are prosecuted and victims can obtain reparation.
Read the African Commission’s decision attached (available in French only)