Burundi Journalist Detained By Secret Service: Family


Burundi journalist detained by secret service: family

Nairobi, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Apr, 2024) The National Intelligence Service in Burundi has detained a journalist, her family told AFP on Monday, raising new concerns for press freedom in the East African country.

Sandra Muhoza, 42, a journalist for online outlet La Nova Burundi, was arrested Sunday and is being held in the economic capital Bujumbura, family members said.

"We are very worried about the arrest of our colleague because up until now we do not know why she has been arrested," La Nova director Pascal Ndayisenga added.

The government of President Evariste Ndayishimiye, who took office in June 2020, has been widely criticised for failing to improve Burundi's dismal human rights record.

On Sunday, Burundi's Catholic bishops issued a damning assessment of the situation saying there was a culture of impunity, with killings and abductions for political or other motives.

Muhoza, a mother of three, had responded on Saturday to an invitation for an interview from a wealthy businessman who is also an influential member of the ruling CNDD-FDD party, a family member said.

The relative told AFP that after having no word from Muhoza on Saturday, her husband finally received a phone message on Sunday saying she was being held at the central offices of the intelligence service.

The family was "worried but also reassured by the message, that signified she is still alive", the relative said.

Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, known by its French acronym RSF, said on Monday it was "concerned" about the Muhoza's detention "without any reason given".

"She's in fact being held by the intelligence services after a night at the police station," it said on X, formerly Twitter, quoting Muhoza's family.