Vincent, imprisonned in Burundi for opposing the government
Vincent (real name withheld) is a Burundian politician, a member of the opposition party. In the past, he held important positions in the government and the Burundian national assembly and was one of the most outspoken critics of the party in power. In 2013, V. I. openly contested a government measure that intended to amend the Constitution. A few days later, he was arrested and charged with adultery. That charges quickly changed attempted corruption and rebellion against the security forces. It quickly transpired that these charges were nothing but false allegations to get this “bothersome” critic arrested.
The arrest and detention proceedings were marred by numerous irregularities. V. I. was not able to get in touch with a lawyer before the interrogation, for example, nor was he released when the competent court ordered the authorities to do so.
The Burundian authorities’ clear reluctance do to anything led TRIAL International to file a complaint before the United Nations on V. I.’s behalf. The NGO asked it, in particular, to acknowledge Burundi’s violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (right to liberty of the person, to safeguards in the event of deprivation of liberty, and so on). The United Nations has asked the Burundian State to bring justice to the victim, which must include the prosecution of the perpetrators and the granting of appropriate compensation.