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Opposition member murdered in Burundi

06.06.2016 ( Last modified: 29.08.2019 )

Yohann (real name withheld) was an active member of the National Liberation Forces (FNL), an opposition party. A prominent political personality in his community, he first came under pressure in the run-up to the 2010 elections: arrest and arbitrary detention, public threats, harassment, etc. Fearing for his life, Yohann fled to another region of Burundi.

After the elections, unrest across the country led to violence of a political nature. Yohann was one of the victims of such violence: in 2011, he was taken away in a tinted-windowed vehicle and found dead a few days later. The injuries on his body appeared to indicate that he had been tortured before his execution.

Yohann’s death provoked an outcry among NGOs, which immediately demanded that an investigation be opened. Although this was officially what happened, no investigative act was carried out, and none of the members of the victim’s family was heard. In 2014, the case was closed with no further action. The national and international organizations’ outrage over this did not change a thing.

In 2014, an NGO coalition, of which TRIAL International was part, referred the case to an international human rights body. They are demanding that Burundi’s violations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights be acknowledged and that reparations be afforded to Yohann’s family.

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