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Burundi arrests opposition leaders who had so far not flinched to the crisis

Burundi arrests opposition leaders who had so far not flinched to the crisis


One of the few opposition leaders who has not fled Burundi, experiencing a deep crisis for more than ten months, was arrested Wednesday by police in a protest district of Bujumbura.

Hugo Haramategeko, president of the party New Alliance for the Development of Burundi (Nadebu), was arrested “while he was still at home” in the district of Mutakura, in the northeast of the capital,according to a family member who spoke on the basis of anonymity

“The police arrested him shortly after 6:00 am as he was taking a shower, and did not even give him time to get dressed properly,” said Ditije Charles, president of the majority wing of UPRONA, belonging to the opposition.

“We learned that he was taken to an unknown destination after passing through the dungeons of the area near Cibitoke,” he added. He denounced “arbitrary arrest of a party president whose only crime is to have demonstrated against the third term of President Pierre Nkurunziza.”

Police spokesperson, Pierre Nkurikiye, could not be reached Wednesday for comment on this case.

Haramategeko, 47 and senior official at the Burundian Ministry of Health, is one of the few leaders of the opposition parties to have not fled Burundi since the beginning of the crisis.

The arrest took place after an eight-day visit to Burundi of three independent experts sent by the Council of Human Rights of the UN to investigate violations of human rights committed during the ten months crisis in that country.