Case H.T.

03.06.2016

Case H.T.

Mr H.T., a Burundian citizen, was a member of the CNDD-FDD, the party in power in Burundi, before joining an opposition party where he held various prominent positions.
Harassment began immediately after Mr H.T. switched parties. Old friends and colleagues from the CNDD-FDD insistently tried to convince him to come back, but their proposals gradually became threats. The victim received anonymous phone calls and was put under police surveillance. H.T. was even stopped on three occasions by the National Intelligence Service (Service National des Renseignements, or SNR) because of his political affiliation.
The threats intensified until the day when, in 2011, H.T. was ambushed by three policemen and murdered. His body was riddled with several bullets in the chest and legs.
As soon as the events happened, several NGOs condemned the crime and demanded an investigation. The case received wide media coverage, both in Burundi and abroad, due to its particularly violent and shocking nature.
Burundi never confirmed launching an investigation into the murder, and no case has ever been opened. The victim’s family remains in complete ignorance regarding the progress of the investigation that was allegedly launched. More than four years after the crime, the assassins are still at large.
TRIAL seized the file and took it to a human rights protection organisation in 2015. In its complaint, it alleged that the murder of Mr O.R. is, among others, a violation of his rights to live, to non-discrimination, to freedom and to freedom of speech.