By Journalists For Justice
Security forces systematically killed dozens of people, including by extrajudicial execution, on the single bloodiest day of Burundi’s escalating crisis. Since Pierre Nkurunziza announced a year ago his bid for a third term, over 400 people have been killed and thousands displaced. He won elections in July, after surviving a coup attempt and mass protests to demand that he steps down. This week, International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said she would open preliminary inquiry into the Burundi situation, which Amnesty International calls a horrific illustration of the growing human rights crisis.
In a briefing, My children are scared”: Burundi’s deepening human rights crisis, Amnesty International documents extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, and looting by the police in Bujumbura on 11 December 2015.
“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,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“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.”
The pronounced intensification of crimes and abuses is a worrying portent for Burundi’s future.
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