Christian: Kidnapped, reported missing, and eventually executed

20.09.2018 ( Last modified: 09.01.2019 )

In December 2015, in Burundi, unidentified armed individuals carried out attacks on four military bases, in and around Bujumbura.

Following these attacks, the law enforcement authorities conducted an unprecedented repressive campaign in several opposition-affiliated neighborhoods. According to certain estimates, approximately 160 people were reportedly killed and many people were victims of arbitrary arrests, torture and rape.

The day after the attacks, Christian (real name withheld) was arrested by a group of police officers and forcibly taken into a NIS (National Intelligence Service) van.

A few days later, Christian’s lifeless body was found. His remains showed numerous marks of abuse and several bullet holes.



Christian’s relatives, despite the fear of reprisals, alerted the authorities even before his body had been found. Although no written complaints were filed, a case was opened by the authorities.

However, more than two years after the events, no effective investigation has been initiated and no investigative action has been undertaken.

Thus, despite the mobilization of many actors and wide media coverage, the case remains blocked and the perpetrators of these atrocities continue to benefit from total impunity.

Unfortunately, it is too late to help Christian. But the suffering inflicted upon his relatives as a result of his execution can still be alleviated if justice is done.

As a result of the human rights violations committed against Christian and his family, TRIAL International has brought the matter before an international body.

In early 2018, the case was declared admissible. The procedure is currently underway.


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