Burundi protests against BBC documentary on alleged killings

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 16, 2018
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BUJUMBURA, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Burundi on Saturday organized nationwide demonstrations to protest against a BBC documentary on alleged killings of government opponents by the Burundian intelligence agency.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Dec. 2 published the documentary that talks about six places in various neighborhoods of Bujumbura where government opponents were allegedly killed or tortured by Burundi's National Intelligence Service after the outbreak of Burundi's 2015 crisis triggered by the third term bid of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The demonstrations took place at town centers of Burundi's 18 provinces and were led by provincial authorities.

In the Burundian capital Bujumbura, the protests were led by assistant to the interior minister Tharcisse Niyongabo, who represented the government.

Thousands of demonstrators did a four-kilometer march from the UN Square in Ngagara zone to the Independence Square in the center of Bujumbura, singing and shouting slogans against the BBC.

They had banners which branded "we, Bujumbura residents, denounce the BBC unusual fabrications in a video saying that there are special killings in the country whereas these are fabrications by the country's enemies" or "we commend the judiciary because after the publication of the video, it started investigations and realized that the BBC video was a fake one."

Niyongabo in a government message urged the BBC to apologize. "When elections are drawing near, lies and fabrications take place. That's what the BBC did by falling in the traps of manipulators who are weak in political competitions," he said.

"The BBC should apologize, or else the judiciary will do its work," he added.

He advised local and international media companies reporting on Burundi to avoid propagating rumors or fabrications.

The official also called on exiled politicians to return home in order to prepare the country's 2020 general elections.

The Burundian government said on Thursday it is going to sue the BBC for publishing the documentary. Enditem

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