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Burundian journalists pay tribute to missing colleague


Burundian journalists are paying tribute to Jean Bigirimana, a journalist who was last seen on the 22nd of July.

His disapearance has caused pain for his family and reduced the morale of colleagues.

Bigirimana worked for the Iwacu media group and was reportedly arrested as he travelled from Bujumbura to Bugarma.

Burundi’s intelligence unit have been accused of having a hand in his disappearance; however, they have denied any links to his arrest. Two decomposed bodies were recently found during a search in a river but it was difficult to identify whether it was his corpse as the bodies were quickly buried.

“One month after August 22, we felt it is important to organise a week of tribute to our colleague. We have stopped publishing on our website which focuses on general information,” IWACU publisher, Leandre Sinkivayuga said.

Gisa Steve, another Burundian journalist who has been detained by the intelligence service for over a week now has been released.

Colleagues say he is in good health. He was arrested over allegations of being a threat to state security.

Apart from Jean Birgirimana and Gisa Steve, another human rights activist Marie Claudette Kwizera is alleged to have been kidnapped by intelligence services last December in Burundi.

Scores of other Burundians have also been missing or found dead in recent times, pushing human rights organisations to raise an alarm for Burundi to stop the human rights abuse on its citizens.

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