Having suffered terrible acts of torture in 2015, Gabriel remains hopeful that one day his rights will be recognized.
Gabriel (alias) is one of the many victims of torture at the hands of Burundian state agents since the beginning of the political crisis.
He was arrested on suspicion of an attack in 2015 on a high-ranking Burundian figure. Following an identity check, and for no other reason than his belonging to the former regular army, Gabriel was arrested in the street by a group of police officers before being taken to one of Bujumbura’s many prisons.
Whilst there, Gabriel was subjected to several interrogation sessions regarding his involvement in the aforementioned attack. Throughout the interrogation, while denying the allegations against him, Gabriel was violently beaten up. Unable to bear the pain caused by these repeated blows, Gabriel finally “confessed” to the charges against him.
After his “confessions” were obtained, Gabriel was held in solitary confinement for several weeks. He was not informed of his rights and did not receive legal aid. His family was not notified of his imprisonment, nor was he allowed to meet with them. In addition, Gabriel received no medical attention during this period, despite significant after-effects of torture.