Beaten up for attempting to protect a relative

03.06.2016 ( Last modified: 17.08.2017 )

At the beginning of 2008, in front of his home, Jean (real name withheld) listened to the story of Fabien (ibidem), a member of his family. The latter told him of a recent altercation with a representative of the State, who had tried to extort official documents from him. During the discussion, the same representative burst in front of Fabien, once again insisting to obtain the said documents.

Witnessing this manifest abuse, Jean intervened to challenge the order and to protect his relative… which led to him being forcibly taken by several policemen. Thrown into a vehicle, he was beaten and released only under pressure from the onlookers who witnessed the scene.

Covered in blood, seriously wounded, Jean was abandoned on the roadside. Taken to the hospital, it took him several weeks to heal from his wounds.

As soon as he was back on his feet, Jean denounced the abuses to the competent authorities. He was granted only one hearing, which led to nothing. After four years, and despite many revivals, the situation has not changed.


Faced with the apathy of the national judicial system, Jean was not discouraged and appealed to TRIAL International for justice.

Noting the deadlock in which he has found himself, the NGO assisted him by filing a complaint with the United Nations. This complaint, filed in 2012, requires that torture and the Burundian authorities be recognized.

The procedure is currently underway.