Bu­rundi de­tains What­sApp group for defama­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

BUJUMBURA — Bu­rundi po­lice say they have de­tained eight peo­ple ac­cused of be­ing mem­bers of a What­sApp group for de­fam­ing the gov­ern­ment and in­sult­ing pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions.

Po­lice spokesper­son Pierre Nkurikiye said on Thurs­day the eight were among 54 peo­ple ar­rested in the cap­i­tal, Bujumbura, on Satur­day. Nkurikiye says all but the eight were re­leased the same day.

Rights groups say the con­tin­ued de­ten­tions are an­other ex­am­ple of the shrink­ing demo­cratic space in Bu­rundi fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Pierre Nku­run­z­iza’s con­tested pur­suit of a third term in of­fice last year. Many op­posed that, call­ing it un­con­sti­tu­tional.

At least 500 peo­ple have died in Bu­rundi since April 2015 in a cri­sis caused by Nku­run­z­iza’s ex­tended ten­ure.

Pa­trick Nduwimana, pres­i­dent of the Bu­rundi Ra­dio As­so­ci­a­tion, says the lat­est de­ten­tions show that the regime is be­com­ing more to­tal­i­tar­ian. — AFP

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