[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Oct 26 21:55:29 UTC 2006
Activists allege Burundi executions
Burundi's spy agency has executed 38 people and arbitrarily detained 200
others since the Central African nation's new government came to power, a
rights group said Wednesday.
New York-based Human Rights Watch accused President Pierre Nkurunziza
year-old government of failing to prosecute those accused of
extra-judicial killings. A security official acknowledged some officers
had committed human rights abuses, but said the cases were isolated and
that those responsible were punished.
"Since the new government took office, the intelligence service has been
free to use any means necessary, including killing and torture, to reach
its goals," the group's Alison des Forges said in a report. "The
government must address this pattern of continuing violations."
The new government came to power in mid-2005 on a wave of optimism in a
country still reeling from a civil war that killed more than 250,000
Des Forges told The Associated Press that the rights group had evidence to
show Burundi's spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, were
responsible for the crimes.
Human Rights Watch said the agency are acting with impunity.
"We are aware of individual police agents who commit human rights abuse
and even worse kill," Brig. Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana of the intelligence
agency told the AP by telephone.
"But we investigate and those proven we arrest and punish them," he added.
The country has long been riven by tension between the majority Hutus and
minority Tutsis, who have dominated the government, economy and military
since independence from Belgium in 1962.
Hutu-Tutsi animosities have brought bloodshed elsewhere in the region -
including the 1994 slaughter of a half-million Tutsis and moderate Hutus
by militant Hutus in neighboring Rwanda.
In Burundi, Nkurunziza was elected in 2005 as part of a Hutu-dominated
government to replace a power-sharing administration that oversaw the
The administration has been wracked by accusations of corruption and human
rights abuses. Critics have said the government fabricated allegations of
a recent coup plot to arrest opposition members.
(source: Associated Press)
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