In 2012, a false accusation led to the arrest of Marius (assumed name). At the police station, he was kicked with boots and lashed with belts so violently that he lost consciousness. Left in this critical condition without getting the slightest bit of care, he had to wait several hours before being taken to hospital. Today, Marius still suffers from the physical and psychological scars of that traumatic episode.
The day after the incident, Marius reported the torture that he had suffered and an investigation was opened. The victim’s hopes of justice did not last long because the trial came to a standstill for several months. When, because of M.’s relentless insistence, the justice system finally examined the case, the facts found proved fell well short of what the victim had endured, and by no means reflected the seriousness of the violence. No further action was taken.
TRIAL International, with the help of its partners in Burundi, referred the case to the United Nations in 2013. In its decision, it acknowledged the double harm caused to Marius: the torture that he had suffered and the inaction of the Burundian justice system.