Difference between revisions of "Burundi"

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Burundi is a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of   Africa  that is struggling to overcome the consequences of a civil war    that  lasted more than ten years. In 2005, the new government of national    unity led by President Pierre Nkurunziza began rebuilding all the     country's institutions and strengthening the rule of law and improving    the quality of life for its citizens. In April 2009, the last rebel    group in Burundi, the FNL (National Liberation Forces) renounced the  use    of force and was disarmed, creating a stable peace in the country.  With  the wide involvement in the national unity government  of former  rebel  groups, the situation seems encouraging.
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*<big>'''Background of Burundi'''</big>
 +
Burundi is an African country located in the Great Lakes region and is one of the five members of the East African Community (EAC).  With a total area of 27,834 km, Burundi is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Landlocked, Burundi shares borders with Tanzania to the East, the DRC to the West, and Rwanda to the North.  Burundi contains Lake Tanganyika and other smaller lakes that dot the country.  The overall population density compared to the area of land (not lakes) is 310 inhabitants per km2, which is concentrated mainly in the provinces of Gitega, Kayanza, Ngozi, Kirundo, and Muyinga, making Burundi one of the most populous African countries. Burundi officially recognizes three ethnic groups: the Hutu (85% of the population), the Tutsi (14% of the population), and the Twa (1% of the population). The cohabitation of these three ethnic groups caused tensions to rise in the past but after the Arusha Accords were signed in 2000, a much more peaceful atmosphere has existed until the recent political crisis (see below).
  
Since    the end of the 12-year civil war, Burundi has made  considerable    progress in terms of social standards and open political  space. If the   judiciary faces many shortcomings, the representatives of law    enforcement, as well as those judicial openly acknowledge the  problems,   and demonstrate a willingness to solve them. Great strides have been    made with the adoption in April 2009 of a law to reform the  Penal  Code  explicitly criminalizes the use of torture.  
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Historically, Burundi has experienced political crises and repeated civil wars between 1962 and 2008 that caused the deaths of more than 600,000 people.  During the years of civil war following Burundi’s independence in 1962, Burundi struggled to grow economically, finally experiencing positive growth in 2005 at a rate of three to five percent. As emphasized by the World Bank, however, Burundi is still suffering the reverberations from previous wars, seeking to bandage wounds that have still not fully healed. Economic progress in Burundi is slowed by the high prices for food and oil, an energy deficit, inflation, excessive population growth, and a strong dependence on international financial aidAccording to a recent IMF report, today, Burundi is the fifth poorest country in the world.  
  
More  than  half of Burundi's population lives below the poverty  line and  the  end  of the civil war has left behind a trail of young men,  poorly  educated,  and trained in military combat alone. This means that  true  social  reconciliation remains a distant goal. Profound  institutional    weaknesses, poorly trained staff, and lack of resources  undermines  the  effective implementation of new laws and access to  justice for  millions  of people.
 
  
According to the Bar of Burundi,  the country has only 173 lawyers for a population of 10,216,190which means that only one lawyer to 59,053 people. The prison  population reached a peak of 11,000 prisoners, requiring national  authorities to  take urgent action. Of the total  number of prisoners,   more than 64.5% are awaiting trial. Most defendants are unable to   afford counsel. There is no legal aid system funded by the state. In  the absence of juvenile penal system, more than 420  children are   detained in prison cells with adults making them vulnerable to many  abuses. Strengthen the rule of law in Burundi is an absolute    emergency.
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* <big>'''2015 Political Crisis'''</big>
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 +
Article 25 of Burundi’s Constitution states, “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”  In addition to this, Burundi is bound by an array of international and regional treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), all of which prohibit the use of torture or any other ill-treatment. After just experiencing a brutal twelve year civil war that ended in 2005 and left hundreds of thousands dead, Burundi is once again being plunged into another tumultuous situation following Burundi’s 2015 election.  In April 2015, Burundi’s President, Pierre Nkurunziza, announced his intent to run for a third term, an action which is unconstitutional due to Burundi’s two term limit. Following Nkurunziza’s re-election in 2015, violence has once again erupted, causing increases in killings, detainment, and torture. While overt violence has started to subside recently, covert violence continues to rise and fears are rising among the international community that this new crisis could open up old wounds left by the civil war.
 +
 
 +
As of August 2015 the National Prison Administration reported that the prison population of Burundi was 8,689 although the prison capacity was only 4,050, putting the occupancy level at 214.5%. Because of this over-crowding, juveniles are often held in the same areas as adults. Among these prisoners, 56.7% of them are pre-trial detainees or remand prisoners (4,925 people) and the average time for pretrial detention is reported as being between one and two and a half years.  Some detainees, however, have remained in pre-trial detention for up to five years and in some cases the length of the pre-trial detention equaled or exceeded the sentence of their alleged crime. Since the re-election of President Nkurunziza, however, these problems have escalated and created a pressing need for more resources and fundingThis need continues today as evidenced by the UN Human Rights Chief warning in April of 2016 of a “sharp increase in the use of torture and ill-treatment in Burundi” and concerns about reports of the existence of illegal detention facilities throughout the country.  UN investigators have documented at least 345 cases of torture and ill-treatment from January 1, 2016 to April 18, 2016 alone according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and during visits in April of 2016 by the UN human rights team to SNR facilities (Service National des Renseignements – one of the country’s most feared institutions), thirty out of the sixty seven people held there displayed signs of torture, twenty-five detainees had been kept in custody beyond the prescribed maximum time limit, and while the detainees had been arrested for minor offenses, the SNR registry listed much more serious offenses such as undermining State security, illegal possession of arms, and espionage. In addition to this, APRODH identified more than one-thousand men, women, and children who were arrested and accused of participation in insurrection movements against the State between April 26 and late June 2015 while League ITEKA reported more than two-thousand persons arrested and detained throughout Burundi.
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 +
The re-election of President Nkurunziza has stirred the waters of discontent among many of citizens of Burundi leading to the growth of opposition movements and, as a result, increased violence by the police, the military, and other organizationsThe SNR are one of the most notorious actors in Burundi responsible for the recent human rights abuses.  People can be held at an SNR compound for weeks before ever seeing the inside of a prison, therefore making it difficult to gather precise statistics on the amount of pre-trial detainees in Burundi.  As of late 2015, no one within the SNR has been investigated or arrested for claims of tortureFurther, in the cases studies by Amnesty International, the detainees did not have access to lawyers or contact with family members while at SNR facilities despite Articles 10 and 95 of the Burundian Code of Criminal Procedure which provides a right to communicate freely with a lawyerIn addition to these conditions, the SNR recently has been excluding many organizations and individuals from visiting its facilities.  For example, IBJ’s partner, APRODH, is no longer granted access to the SNR’s main compound.  Within SNR facilities the police use every despicable tactic they have available to coerce confessions. The police beat victims, mutilate them, force victims to stare at the sun, place them into extremely hot metal containers for hours, and even use gas grenades.
 +
 
 +
Today, the citizens of Burundi live in a paralytic state of fear caused by a climate of intimidation and brutality. Police forces have tried to drive all dissenting voices out of the country with violence and the government has drastically censored the press.  As a result, funding is drastically needed in Burundi to counter these increasing attempts to deprive individuals of their legal rights as provided by the Burundian Constitution and international laws and treaties. IBJ’s programs, headed by its legal services, are perfectly suited to combat this crisis as IBJ’s team on the ground in Burundi can continue to work with detainees and victims of torture to free them from prison or greatly reduce their sentences. IBJ’s victim centered approach provides individual aid to all those in need while also working to reform the system and the minds of those who operate that system.
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See [[Criminal Justice Systems Around the World]]
 
See [[Criminal Justice Systems Around the World]]
  
 
<h2  id="mp-dyk-h2" style="margin:3px; background:#143966;      font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3bfb1;      text-align:left; color:#ffffff; padding:0.2em  0.4em;">QUICK FACTS</h2>
 
<h2  id="mp-dyk-h2" style="margin:3px; background:#143966;      font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3bfb1;      text-align:left; color:#ffffff; padding:0.2em  0.4em;">QUICK FACTS</h2>
*  Prison Statistics (August 10, 2015)
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'''Prison Statistics (August 10, 2015)'''
 
::Prison Population = 8,689
 
::Prison Population = 8,689
 
::Prison Population Rate (Per 100,000 people) = 77
 
::Prison Population Rate (Per 100,000 people) = 77
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::Occupancy Level (Based on Official Capacity) = 214.5%
 
::Occupancy Level (Based on Official Capacity) = 214.5%
  
*Prison Population Trend (Year / Prison Population / Prison Population Rate)
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*'''Prison Population Trend (Year / Prison Population / Prison Population Rate)'''
 
::2001 / 9,013 / 130
 
::2001 / 9,013 / 130
 
::2002 / 8,647 / 121
 
::2002 / 8,647 / 121
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::2015 / 8,689 / 77
 
::2015 / 8,689 / 77
  
*General Information
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*'''General Information'''
 
::Capital = Bujumbura
 
::Capital = Bujumbura
 
::Ethnic Groups = 85% Hutu / 14% Tutsi / 1% Twa
 
::Ethnic Groups = 85% Hutu / 14% Tutsi / 1% Twa

Revision as of 15:19, 31 May 2016

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BURUNDI CRIMINAL DEFENSE MANUAL

  1. Fundamental Principles
  2. Interviews with Clients
  3. Hearing Strategies
  4. Defense Strategies
  5. The Nullity Procedure
  6. Nullification Proceedings Request (PDF)
  7. Manual on Arrest and Detention Procedures Established by the Code of Criminal Procedure of Burundi

CODES

LEGAL RESOURCES

LEGAL TRAINING RESOURCE CENTER

  • Background of Burundi

Burundi is an African country located in the Great Lakes region and is one of the five members of the East African Community (EAC). With a total area of 27,834 km, Burundi is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Landlocked, Burundi shares borders with Tanzania to the East, the DRC to the West, and Rwanda to the North. Burundi contains Lake Tanganyika and other smaller lakes that dot the country. The overall population density compared to the area of land (not lakes) is 310 inhabitants per km2, which is concentrated mainly in the provinces of Gitega, Kayanza, Ngozi, Kirundo, and Muyinga, making Burundi one of the most populous African countries. Burundi officially recognizes three ethnic groups: the Hutu (85% of the population), the Tutsi (14% of the population), and the Twa (1% of the population). The cohabitation of these three ethnic groups caused tensions to rise in the past but after the Arusha Accords were signed in 2000, a much more peaceful atmosphere has existed until the recent political crisis (see below).

Historically, Burundi has experienced political crises and repeated civil wars between 1962 and 2008 that caused the deaths of more than 600,000 people. During the years of civil war following Burundi’s independence in 1962, Burundi struggled to grow economically, finally experiencing positive growth in 2005 at a rate of three to five percent. As emphasized by the World Bank, however, Burundi is still suffering the reverberations from previous wars, seeking to bandage wounds that have still not fully healed. Economic progress in Burundi is slowed by the high prices for food and oil, an energy deficit, inflation, excessive population growth, and a strong dependence on international financial aid. According to a recent IMF report, today, Burundi is the fifth poorest country in the world.


  • 2015 Political Crisis

Article 25 of Burundi’s Constitution states, “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.” In addition to this, Burundi is bound by an array of international and regional treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), all of which prohibit the use of torture or any other ill-treatment. After just experiencing a brutal twelve year civil war that ended in 2005 and left hundreds of thousands dead, Burundi is once again being plunged into another tumultuous situation following Burundi’s 2015 election. In April 2015, Burundi’s President, Pierre Nkurunziza, announced his intent to run for a third term, an action which is unconstitutional due to Burundi’s two term limit. Following Nkurunziza’s re-election in 2015, violence has once again erupted, causing increases in killings, detainment, and torture. While overt violence has started to subside recently, covert violence continues to rise and fears are rising among the international community that this new crisis could open up old wounds left by the civil war.

As of August 2015 the National Prison Administration reported that the prison population of Burundi was 8,689 although the prison capacity was only 4,050, putting the occupancy level at 214.5%. Because of this over-crowding, juveniles are often held in the same areas as adults. Among these prisoners, 56.7% of them are pre-trial detainees or remand prisoners (4,925 people) and the average time for pretrial detention is reported as being between one and two and a half years. Some detainees, however, have remained in pre-trial detention for up to five years and in some cases the length of the pre-trial detention equaled or exceeded the sentence of their alleged crime. Since the re-election of President Nkurunziza, however, these problems have escalated and created a pressing need for more resources and funding. This need continues today as evidenced by the UN Human Rights Chief warning in April of 2016 of a “sharp increase in the use of torture and ill-treatment in Burundi” and concerns about reports of the existence of illegal detention facilities throughout the country. UN investigators have documented at least 345 cases of torture and ill-treatment from January 1, 2016 to April 18, 2016 alone according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and during visits in April of 2016 by the UN human rights team to SNR facilities (Service National des Renseignements – one of the country’s most feared institutions), thirty out of the sixty seven people held there displayed signs of torture, twenty-five detainees had been kept in custody beyond the prescribed maximum time limit, and while the detainees had been arrested for minor offenses, the SNR registry listed much more serious offenses such as undermining State security, illegal possession of arms, and espionage. In addition to this, APRODH identified more than one-thousand men, women, and children who were arrested and accused of participation in insurrection movements against the State between April 26 and late June 2015 while League ITEKA reported more than two-thousand persons arrested and detained throughout Burundi.

The re-election of President Nkurunziza has stirred the waters of discontent among many of citizens of Burundi leading to the growth of opposition movements and, as a result, increased violence by the police, the military, and other organizations. The SNR are one of the most notorious actors in Burundi responsible for the recent human rights abuses. People can be held at an SNR compound for weeks before ever seeing the inside of a prison, therefore making it difficult to gather precise statistics on the amount of pre-trial detainees in Burundi. As of late 2015, no one within the SNR has been investigated or arrested for claims of torture. Further, in the cases studies by Amnesty International, the detainees did not have access to lawyers or contact with family members while at SNR facilities despite Articles 10 and 95 of the Burundian Code of Criminal Procedure which provides a right to communicate freely with a lawyer. In addition to these conditions, the SNR recently has been excluding many organizations and individuals from visiting its facilities. For example, IBJ’s partner, APRODH, is no longer granted access to the SNR’s main compound. Within SNR facilities the police use every despicable tactic they have available to coerce confessions. The police beat victims, mutilate them, force victims to stare at the sun, place them into extremely hot metal containers for hours, and even use gas grenades.

Today, the citizens of Burundi live in a paralytic state of fear caused by a climate of intimidation and brutality. Police forces have tried to drive all dissenting voices out of the country with violence and the government has drastically censored the press. As a result, funding is drastically needed in Burundi to counter these increasing attempts to deprive individuals of their legal rights as provided by the Burundian Constitution and international laws and treaties. IBJ’s programs, headed by its legal services, are perfectly suited to combat this crisis as IBJ’s team on the ground in Burundi can continue to work with detainees and victims of torture to free them from prison or greatly reduce their sentences. IBJ’s victim centered approach provides individual aid to all those in need while also working to reform the system and the minds of those who operate that system.


See Criminal Justice Systems Around the World

QUICK FACTS

  • Prison Statistics (August 10, 2015)
Prison Population = 8,689
Prison Population Rate (Per 100,000 people) = 77
Pre-Trial Detainees / Remand Prisoners (Percentage of Prison Population) = 56.7%
Female Prisoners (Percentage of Population) = 4.0%
Juveniles / Minors (Percentage of Population) = 3.4%
Foreign Prisoners (Percentage of Population) = 1.2%
Number of Prisons = 11:#Official Capacity of Prison System = 4050
Occupancy Level (Based on Official Capacity) = 214.5%
  • Prison Population Trend (Year / Prison Population / Prison Population Rate)
2001 / 9,013 / 130
2002 / 8,647 / 121
2004 / 7,526 / 98
2006 / 7,332 / 89
2008 / 9,114 / 104
2010 / 9,481 / 100
2012 / 10,422 / 103
2014 / 8,646 / 79
2015 / 8,689 / 77
  • General Information
Capital = Bujumbura
Ethnic Groups = 85% Hutu / 14% Tutsi / 1% Twa
President = Pierre Nkurunziza
Area = 27,834 km2
Population = 11,178,921
GDP = $3.247 billion
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