Detractors of Pierre Nkurunziza’s regime have long-since been the targets of attacks and intimidations. David (real name withheld), for instance, suffered violent torture at the hands of Burundian authorities in 2014. He is still waiting for his torturers to be prosecuted.
In March 2014, many people were detained and tortured in Bujumbura. These acts of violence stemmed from a wider context of repression directed at members of the country’s civil society and political opposition.
David was a leading figure of Burundi’s political opposition. During a joint demonstration day attended by several political organizations, he was shot, wounded and severely assaulted by state agents. Instead of receiving emergency care, he was then locked up in jail, where he was interrogated and verbally abused. He was denied all forms of medical assistance, and was only taken to hospital much later, as a result of the pressure exerted by human rights advocates.
One month later, as soon as his health condition allowed, David was sent back to prison. Today he remains in jail, living in awful conditions of detention.