Burundi releases journalist accused of threatening national security

Published by News Ghana
On 29 August 2016 saa 01:25
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A journalist detained for allegedly threatening national security of Burundi has been released, the freed journalist told Xinhua.

Steve Irakoze Gisa was released Thursday after spending seven days at the custody of the Burundi National Intelligence Service (SNR).

Gisa, who works for Burundi-based Buja FM, was arrested Thursday last week after police browsed through his mobile phone and said it contained subversive information.

A dual Burundian-Rwandan national, Gisa was accused of posing a threat to Burundi’s state security.

Gisa said he convinced the police that he was born in Gihanga town in Bubanza province.

“It is true that I have a Rwandan accent, but I explained that it was due to the fact that I had my university studies in Rwanda,” the journalist said.

Relations between Burundi and its neighbor Rwanda have deteriorated since April 2015 following the announcement by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would seek a third term.

Opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, Nkurunziza’s candidature prompted a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup.

Over 500 persons are reported to have been killed since then while dozens of thousands of Burundians sought refuge in Rwanda, including those who had attempted to overthrow Nkurunziza’s government.

Burundi has been accusing Rwanda of “destabilizing” security in Burundi through providing military training to Burundian people in refugee camps. Enditem