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Burundi: Arrested foreign journalists released

Burundi: Arrested foreign journalists released

Burundi

Burundi has freed British photo journalist Phil More and French Journalist Philippe Remy arrested during police raids on Thursday.

The two journalists were seen leaving a Bujumbura courtroom on Friday but made no comment to reporters.

Philippe Remy is the Africa Bureau Chief of French newspaper ‘Le Monde’ while Phil Moore is a freelance photographer.

Le Monde newspaper called for the release of the newspaper’s special correspondent in a statement on its website.

Contrary to reports by Burundian police, Le Monde says Philippe Remy was never among armed men.

After their arrest Burundi’s interior minister announced that “it was the first time foreigners were arrested in the among criminals.”

The Nyakabiga neighbourhood is an opposition stronghold.Police have been raiding the area since the April uprising against Nkurunziza’s third mandate.

French foreign minister had called for the unconditional release of the journalists. This was echoed by the British foreign minister who expressed dissatisfaction with the developments.

Burundi has been in turmoil since April when president Nkurunziza announced plans to run for a third term. This sparked weeks of street protests by the opposition who considered Nkurunziza’s decision as illegal.

Since then, Burundi’s clampdown on the media has been serious. The government has closed main private radio stations and forced some foreign journalists to leave the country.

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