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A student unjustly jailed for years

26.04.2017 ( Last modified: 17.08.2017 )

Onesphore Case

Student and member of the opposition detained

Mr. Onesphore (real name withheld) is a student and political opponent. In 2015, while having lunch, he was arrested by police officers and locked up in a cell, before being transferred to a prison, where he is still detained to this day. Like others before him, he is a victim of the wave of arrests of political opponents in Burundi. They were particularly dire in 2015.

Mr. Onesphore was interrogated without his lawyer, in violation of the applicable legal procedures. It is only after two months of waiting that he was able to meet the latter, as well as his relatives. Although – manifestly unfounded – charges have since been formulated, as well as a case being opened, he still hasn’t received a copy of the document justifying his remand. He is still languishing in prison.

Procedure

Mr. Onesphore attempted to defend himself by using all available legal means. Consequently, during his trial, his lawyer repeatedly denounced the irregularities of his detention. But despite the defence’s perseverance, nothing could be done to protect the victim. Furthermore, non-judicial mechanisms were also seized, in vain.

In view of the seriousness of this situation, at the start of 2017, TRIAL International turned towards the United Nations, in order to ensure that the violations suffered by Mr. Onesphore be recognized and to allow him to obtain reparation.

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