Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

To mark World Refugee Day, CPJ reflects on the experiences faced by the many journalists forced to flee each year after being persecuted for their reporting. Journalists such as Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan; Sanna Camara, from Gambia, and Sevgi Akarçeşme, from Turkey, are forced to choose between prison and exile. Bob Rugurika, a radio director from Burundi, has been forced to flee his country three times. Pictured: his release from prison in early 2015 is celebrated at his radio station.

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Alerts   |   Burundi

CPJ calls on Burundi to release Radio Maria reporter

Nairobi, October 13, 2016--Burundi's national intelligence service should immediately release radio journalist Salvador Nahimana, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police detained Nahimana, a reporter for the Burundian branch of Radio Maria, a global station that broadcasts news and missionary statements, on October 2, and transferred him to the custody of the intelligence service, Burundian journalists told CPJ.

October 13, 2016 4:37 PM ET


Case   |   Burundi

Burundian intelligence service detains journalist one week without charge

Burundian authorities detained Gisa Steve Irakoze, a reporter for the independent Radio Buja FM on August 18, 2016, and released him without charge a week later, rights groups and the National Union of Journalists in Burundi reported.

August 29, 2016 11:43 AM ET


Alerts   |   Burundi

Burundi journalist Jean Bigirimana missing for two weeks

Jean Bigirimana (Iwacu)

New York, August 5, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about the welfare of Burundian journalist Jean Bigirimana. The journalist's news outlet says he has not been seen or heard from since July 22.

Bigirimana, a reporter with the independent weekly newspaper Iwacu, formerly with the pro-government radio station Rema FM, left his home in the capital Bujumbura around lunch time on July 22, after receiving a phone call from a source in the country's national intelligence service, Iwacu reported. He has not been seen or heard from since.

August 5, 2016 3:51 PM ET


Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Burundi, Gambia, Turkey

World Refugee Day: Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

In August 2014 two journalists living more than 4,000 miles apart slipped across a border to find safety: one with his wife and three children, the other alone. Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan, and Sanna Camara, from Gambia, faced imprisonment because of their reporting. Neither has been able to return home.

Alerts   |   Burundi

Burundi arrests two foreign correspondents in wider crackdown

Jean-Philippe Remy and Philip Edward Moore are pictured soon after their release from police custody in Bujumbura, Burundi, January 29, 2016 (AFP)

New York, January 29, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on authorities in Burundi to stop harassing journalists and allow them to freely report on events in the country. At least three journalists have been briefly detained in the past two days.

Statements   |   Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

CPJ calls on Democratic Republic of Congo to not extradite Burundian journalist

New York, December 31, 2015­--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo not to extradite Egide Mwemero, an exiled Burundian radio journalist who has been in custody since October 13, according to reports. Bob Rugurika, director of independent Burundian station Radio Publique Africaine where Mwemero also worked, told CPJ he fears Mwemero will be killed if he is sent back to Burundi. Burundian authorities this month requested the extradition of at least four other journalists who fled into exile, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Burundi

Radio journalist arrested and held without charge in Burundi

New York, November 9, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Burundian authorities to release radio journalist Blaise Célestin Ndihokubwayo, who was arrested Friday, according to reports.

Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Burundian journalist arrested in Democratic Republic of Congo

New York, October 19, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention of Egide Mwemero, a Burundian journalist who, according to the managing director of his radio station and local reports, was arrested in Uvira in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on October 13.

Blog   |   Burundi

Silence in Burundi as violence forces independent press into exile

A Bujumbura road is blocked during unrest over elections in Burundi in July. Many Burundians, including journalists, have gone into exile to flee the violence. (Reuters/Mike Hutchings)

On June 24, a grenade was thrown through the window of Voice of America correspondent Diane Nininahazwe's home. It was one of three cases CPJ has documented in recent months where grenades were thrown into the homes of journalists in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities, but there have also been no arrests.

Blog   |   Burundi

Burundi must investigate attacks on journalists

The body of a man killed overnight lies on a street as polls open for the presidential elections in Bujumbura, Burundi, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (AP/Jerome Delay)

The Committee to Protect Journalists and 18 other organizations are urging Burundi authorities to investigate attacks on journalists and human rights defenders. Since the April announcement that President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term, defying constitutional limitations and sparking months of protests, journalists have been routinely targeted. At least five radio stations were attacked and their staff threatened, inducing a mass exodus of journalists fleeing the country and leaving an information vacuum at a critical juncture. In presidential elections in mid-July, Nkurunziza won nearly 70 percent of the vote.

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