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Burundi: Extrajudicial execution / "Disappearance" / Fear of further extrajudicial executions

, Index number: AFR 16/024/1999

Juvénal Niyonzima and Michel Manirambona have not been seen since they were arrested on 26 September 1999, reportedly by soldiers on patrol. Amnesty International is especially concerned for their safety following reports that Léovin Nzeyimana, who "disappeared" after soldiers arrested him on 19 September, was extrajudicially executed shortly after his arrest and buried in a secret grave.

PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 16/24/99
UA 263/99 Extrajudicial execution / “Disappearance” / Fear of further extrajudicial executions 5 October 1999
BURUNDIJuvénal NIYONZIMA
Michel MANIRAMBONA
Léovin NZEYIMANA (believed killed)
Juvénal Niyonzima and Michel Manirambona have not been seen since they were
arrested in the Cibitoke area of the capital, Bujumbura, on 26 September 1999,
reportedly by soldiers on patrol. Amnesty International is especially concerned
for their safety following reports that Léovin Nzeyimana, who “disappeared”
after soldiers arrested him on 19 September, was extrajudicially executed
shortly after his arrest and buried in a secret grave.
Amnesty International had been investigating the possible “disappearance” of
Léovin Nzeyimana, who was on his way home when he was arrested by soldiers
based in the Kamenge area of Bujumbura. The organization has now been reliably
informed that Léovin Nzeyimana was extrajudicially executed by the soldiers
a few hours after his arrest, at around 3am on 20 September, and that he was
buried in a secret graveyard in Kamenge. The graveyard is reported to be near
the Nyabagere river, on 6
th
Avenue, which separates the districts of Heha and
Gikizi. First reports suggest that up to 15 bodies may be buried there; their
identities are not known.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Bujumbura has recently been frequently attacked by armed opposition groups,
who have deliberately and arbitrarily killed civilians. Since these attacks
on the capital increased in August 1999, the security forces have made scores
of arrests, and Amnesty International has received several reports of torture
and “disappearance”. Since mid-September, the area surrounding Bujumbura has
been virtually cleared of civilians, who have been moved into temporary camps
where they are held in appalling conditions, while the army carries out
counter-insurgency operations.
More than 9,000 civilians, mostly Hutu, are held in various prisons and detention
centres around Burundi. The majority are held without charge or trial, and
many people are arrested on the basis of denunciation.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters (please check whether there is a postal service from your country to
Burundi) in French or your own language:
- calling for urgent investigations to be carried out to establish the
whereabouts of Juvénal Niyonzima and Michel Manirambona;
- calling for urgent investigations into the arrest, “disappearance” and
possible extrajudicial execution of Léovin Nzeyimana;
- calling for reports that a number of bodies may have been secretly buried
in the Kamenge area to be immediately investigated to establish whether they
are well-founded;
- calling for those found to have committed or condoned grave human rights
violations to be brought to justice.
APPEALS TO: (Please note that fax numbers can be difficult to obtain. Please
keep trying.)
Minister of Justice
2
Monsieur Térence SINUNGURUZA
Ministre de la Justice et Garde des sceaux
Ministère de la Justice, Bujumbura, Burundi
Fax: 257 21 86 10
Telegram: Ministre Justice, Bujumbura, Burundi
Salutation : Monsieur le Ministre / Dear Minister
Minister of Defence
Lieutenant-Col. Alfred NKURUNZIZA
Ministre de la Défense Nationale
Ministère de la Défense Nationale
BP 1870 Bujumbura, Burundi
Telegrams: Ministre Défense, Bujumbura, Burundi
Faxes:+ 257 22 39 59 / 21 75 05
Salutation:Monsieur le Ministre/Dear Minister
President
Major Pierre BUYOYA
Président de la République
Présidence de la République
BP 1870 Bujumbura, Burundi
Salutation :Monsieur le Président / Dear President
Fax: + 257 22 74 90
Telegrams:
COPIES TO:
Minister for Human Rights
Eugène NINDORERA, Ministre des droits de la Personne humaine, des réformes
institutionnelles, et des relations avec l’Assemblée nationale, Ministère des
droits de la Personne humaine, Bujumbura, Burundi
Fax:+ 257 21 75 49
State Public Prosecutor
Gerard NGENDABANKA, Procureur de la Republique, Bujumbura, Burundi
Fax:+ 257 24 15 03
and to diplomatic representatives of Burundi accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 16 November 1999.

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