PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 16/30/98
16 October 1998
Further information on UA 233/98 (AFR 16/21/98, 2 September 1998) and follow-up
(AFR 16/24/98, 18 September 1998) - Fear for safety / Fear of ill-treatment
BURUNDIMr Pascal Birari, local administrative advisor (conseilleur communal)
in Mutimbuzi commune, Rural Bujumbura province,
and around 15 others, names unknown
Amnesty International remains concerned for the safety of Pascal Birari. He
has reportedly been transferred from Gatumba police station (brigade) to Mpimba
Central Prison, in Bujumbura, where he remains at risk of ill-treatment. He
is not known to have been charged with a criminal offence.
Pascal Birari has greater access to medical attention and visits by human rights
and humanitarian organisations in Mpimba Central Prison than at Gatumba brigade.
However, he may not have received the medical treatment that he urgently needs
as a result of being severely beaten in detention at Gatumba brigade.
The conditions of Mpimba Central Prison are harsh, and aggravated by severe
over-crowding. With a capacity of 800, the prison holds over 2,500 detainees.
Concerns remain for the safety of 15 others reportedly detained at Kiyange
military position, about whom no further news has been obtained.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please check with your post office whether postal
services from your country are functioning to Burundi. Please send
telegrams/telexes/faxes - and, if you are able, express/airmail letters - in
French or in your own language:
- expressing deep concern that Pascal Birari remains in detention at Mpimba
Central Prison without charge or trial, and that he was severely beaten by
members of the security forces while in detention at Gatumba brigade in
- urging that Pascal Birari be given urgent medical attention and that immediate
steps be taken to protect him from further ill-treatment;
- calling for the whereabouts of the 15 others, reportedly detained at Kiyange
military position, to be made public, and seeking assurances that they are
not being ill-treated in detention;
- asking that an independent investigation be carried out into the reported
ill-treatment of Pascal Birari and that, if confirmed, any official found to
have carried out or condoned the ill-treatment be removed from their post and
brought to justice;
- reminding the government of Burundi of its commitment to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, in particular Article 3:"Everyone has the right
to life, liberty and security of person”.
APPEALS TO (please note that fax tones are difficult to obtain at times):
Major Pierre BUYOYA
Président de la République
Présidence de la République
Telegrams: Major Buyoya, Bujumbura, Burundi
Faxes: + 257 22 74 90