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Friday, April 15, 2011

Burundian Scribe Jailed

A life sentence has been requested by the prosecution for Burundian journalist, Jean-Claude Kavumbagu, who was arrested last year on treason charges.

The court now has 60 days to give the verdict in a case where the journalist is accused of defamation against the Burundian state after he questioned the competence of the security forces, following the bombing in Kampala that killed 76 people during the World cup final in 2010.

The Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab responsible for the attack has continuously threatened violence against Uganda as well as Burundi because of the two countries military involvement in Somalia.

Bernard Maingain is one of Kavumbagu’s lawyers and he expresses his surprise and outrage at the prosecutions demand for a life sentence, claiming the basis on which the accusation is founded to be erroneous. 

For Alexandre Niyungeko, president of the Burundian Union of Journalists who is closely following the case, other ways should have been found to deal with the a journalist expressing his opinion in the press.

This is the fifth time Kavumbagu has been imprisoned in the course of duty, the last time being in September 2008 also on defamation charges but he was cleared and released in March 2009.

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