AI wants probe into killings, executions in Burundi
23 December 2015, 12:08
Bujumbura – Amnesty International (AI) has called for an independent investigation into the escalating crisis in Burundi amid reports of systematic killings and executions of civilians by security forces.
This comes after the east African country experienced one of its bloodiest violence on December 11, which saw dozens of people losing their lives in the capital Bujumbura.
Following the incident, Amnesty International compiled a brief, ‘My children are scared”: Burundi’s deepening human rights crisis. The brief documented extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, and looting by the police in Bujumbura on that particular day.
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According to AI's regional director for east Africa, Muthoni Wankyeki, the streets were littered with bodies with single bullet wounds to the head and a body was found tied up to a tree.
“In the single most deadly day since the current political unrest began, the streets of Bujumbura were left littered with bodies, many shot with a single bullet to the head. At least one body was found tied up,” Wankyeki said.
Wankyeki added: “The security forces’ violent tactics that day represented a dramatic escalation in scale and intensity from previous operations. Men were dragged out of their homes and shot at close range, while others were shot the instant their doors were opened.”
Wankyeki urged the government to take urgent action to end the crisis.
"There must be an urgent and impartial investigation into the actions of the police on 11 December and other incidents. All those suspected of criminal responsibility for these heinous crimes must be held to account before an ordinary civilian court," Wankyeki said.
Burundi has been in turmoil since the April announcement that President Pierre Nkurunziza would seek a third term in office, which he won in a disputed election in July.
More than 300 people have been killed and about 215 000 others have fled Burundi since April as violence continues to escalate.