US voices concern over Prison Conditions in Burundi
The US has voiced concern over the death yesterday of Jacques Bihozagara, a former Rwandan ambassador and asked the Burundian government to pave way for investigation in all prisons and conditions of inmates.
The call comes day after a Rwandan diplomat ambassador Jacques Bihozagara, died in Mpimba prison in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura on April 30 under unclear circumstances.
â€œWe call on the Government of Burundi to provide unfettered access to monitors and observers from OHCHR, the AU, and other independent organizations to monitor the conditions of prisoners and prison facilities, as well as to investigate broader allegations of human rights abusesâ€ a US department of State statement read in part.
The US also said that they remain concerned about a lack of due process in many of the cases of inmates and their living conditions, increased torture, the presence of underground detention facilities, and disappearances of individuals detained by security forces among others.
In the wake of Bihozagaraâ€™s death, Rwanda government on March 31 asked the Burundian government to explain the circumstances that led to the death Rwandaâ€™s former ambassador
Bihozagara served Rwanda as Rehabilitation and Social Integration minister and later as Youth, Sports and Culture minister, in addition to serving as ambassador of Rwanda to France and Belgium.
Mr Bihozagara was arrested last December 2015 by Burundi’s intelligence services on suspicion of spying for his country.
He was a retired ambassador and former youth minister. He lived in Burundi before the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and after his retirement, he visited the country regularly on business.
The UN Human rights body said that continued human rights violations, and impunity for perpetrators, mean that many people in Burundi live in terror, according Zeid Raâ€™ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.