The Human Rights Watch is calling for Burundi authorities to stop the crackdown against the government’s opposition, and to stop the unfair verdict of 48 individuals handed two years to life imprisonment for opposing the government. More than 70 people were tried for opposing the government, which left the defendants unable to prepare for their defence accordingly.
According to African Director of Human Rights Watch Daniele Bekele, the trial of the opposition party members was clearly unjust and unfair. He said that the Burundi government should using the justice system to their personal advantage and to advance their own interests.
Bekele added that the freedom of expression rights in Burundi is virtually non-existent, and this progressed through four years of the government slowly introducing the new laws. The escalating skirmishes between Government parties and opposition became severe, which began the harassment of opposition leaders by government forces.
The arrests of people, including those who were only jogging in the morning, are seen as convening to plot against the government. Most of the joggers were members of the government’s opposition party. Under suspicion of mutiny, 70 individuals were imprisoned.
However, despite the negative publicity, Burundi policemen continued to arrest the individuals tied with the opposition party. Defendants said they were accused of being rebels or traitors of Burundi.
Burundi’s government may arrest people who are jogging during the mornings at the side of the Bujumbura Hill. Most of these joggers are going uphill. Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza declared jogging illegal because it was perceived as a cover for subversion.
People who clump in groups while jogging may be conversing about political dissidence, and rebellion. Some joggers, who were members of the opposition party Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD), are now spending five years to life imprisonment because of their early morning jogs.
Political analysts observe the irony of the situation as Nkurunziza is an avid fan of football and team games. The worst part of it is that Burundi’s own team will need to jog together to practice and build their strengths.
Analysts also view the law as illogical and lacking in specification. It has ambiguous descriptions regarding the activities of joggers and on what grounds can they be arrested.
In the past, morning jogs have become part of Burundi’s culture as preparation against militias hunting down civilians. To build their strength and to create conversation and plans, the runners conversed and planned in secret.
Authorities in Burundi had arrested the President of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa. The 66-year-old leading rights activist in Burundi received a charge for inciting disobedience and endangering internal and external state because of the remarks he made in a radio show.
The Human Rights Watch African director Daniel Bekele said that he was greatly concerned about the charges because it would harass Mbonimpa for his human rights work in Burundi.
Mbonimpa said a Burundian radio station Radio Publique Africaine on May 6 that Burundians “were being armed, given military uniforms and sent for military training in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.” However, the HRW is still unable to verify Mbonimpa’s claim.
He then received summons from Burundi authorities on May 7 and 12. He was questioned for his statements in both instances. He was arrested on May 15.
According to the Human Rights Watch, Mbonimpa must be released immediately.
Antoine Nzobandora, the lawyer representing Mbonimpa, said that Mbonimpa will be brought before a panel of judges and within a week, a judge may decide to grant him bail. He also said that once he is brought before the council of judges, he will prove Mbonimpa innocent.
UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a New York Press Conference that the United Nations is urging the Government of Burundi to fight against political violence and growing restrictions on certain fundamental freedoms.
UN Political Affairs Under Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman said that the restrictions on political rights and freedoms were startling. Inter-ethnic fighting between the Hutu and Tutsi tribesmen have forced the restrictions on human rights. According to Stephane Dujarric, if no action is taken and human rights violations continue to happen, the young can be used for afflicting violence in different areas of the country.
Under Secretary-General Feltman said that they have reports that showed the violence was mainly initiated by the youth wing of the current ruling party (CNFDD-FDD), including arming and training the youth wing.
Dujarric said that in part of Burundi’s past, they trust the Government of Burundi to address thoroughly and promptly the ongoing political violence and human rights restrictions in the country. He said that the international community, not just the UN, is concerned over such developments.
He said that the country will take steps to protect political pluralism and the democracy by which its government had been found. Press and civil limitations on the freedoms of expression, of association and peaceful assembly and media and civil society organisations, shall be lifted by the Government.
A Burundi diplomat had been expelled from South Africa for collaborating with suspects who had raided a former Rwandan Army Chief General’s home. According to local news, the Rwandan Army Chief General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa’s home on March 4.
The Burundi government is currently reviewing information regarding South Africa’s decision before reacting to the situation.
Currently Burundi and South Africa have a diplomatic spat because of the said incident. Last week, South Africa had expelled three Rwandan diplomats and Burundi retaliated by expelling six South African diplomats.
According to an intelligence source in South Africa, the South African security services had tracked down the individuals responsible for the raid of the ex-Army Chief’s house and intelligence feed showed that the individuals were Rwandan intelligence personnel linked to the embassy.
Army Chief General Fausting Kayumba Nyamwasa had been the target of several assassination attempts. In 2010, he was shot in the stomach during the middle of the day and underwent surgery in a Johannesburg clinic. The gunmen wanted to ensure his death by emptying their guns on his stomach.
He had been an opposition figure against South African President Paul Kagame and had been critical of his government. He had gone into exile after leaving his position in the military due to his voracious assaults against Kagame’s government.
When you are in the middle of making no win no fee compensation claims, you can get frustrated, which leads to instant confusion and discouragement. Remember, when you’re making a compensation claim, you’re fighting for your right or the right of the person involved. In a very difficult compensation claim situation, always remember the following.
1. You Have Access to Legal Resources
When you are working with a compensation solicitor or a claims expert, remember they are valuable data banks. They can advise you about the implications of evidences you have, the possible facts it carries and the possible amount of compensation you could receive. You can use their experience to help you sort out a pattern from a previous claim that might be similar to your own.
2. Be Patient
Parties responsible may refuse you instantly along with insurers. Remember, just keep calm and be patient; if you rush things, you’ll forget to see many things in proper detail and you could end up with a weak argument in your claim. Remember, you want to get every detail of argument in your claim that you could get.
3. Stick to the Facts
Never let your frustration guide your intentions. Never make a claim that has no fact. Always stick by your evidences and from there, you can understand what needs to be done. If you cannot understand what the facts are showing for the circumstances of the claim, take a break from making it and return to it with a fresh mind.
A huge number of people have been affected by the mis-sold PPI and are looking for an effective way to get their PPI claims. Ever since the court ruling in favor of the public has emerged, the compensation procedure has become an easy one.
Validating PPI Claims
PPI policy is basically an optional service and it does not any way influence your chances of receiving credit. But most of the people who have taken the policy are ignorant of the fact. The PPI scam has emerged mainly due to banks and financial services selling the policy as part of the mortgage, store card, credit card, loan, and other credit settlements. If you have bought such a policy, you are eligible for a PPI refund.
You are always eligible for a PPI help if you happen to throw yourself into the following circumstances.
- You can also get PPI assistance regarding the claim if you have taken a loan or mortgage where the cost involved in the PPI and its exact nature was not properly explained to you.
- In some cases while filling in form on the net, the PPI box may be pre-ticked which also makes a case for claiming the refund.
- If you were out of a job for any reasons or had a medical condition during the time of taking the policy and its terms and conditions were not made clear to you, you can get PPI help.
Generally, most of the insurance policies have age restriction that range from 65 to 70 years of age. If you were above the maximum limit outlined in the PPI agreement at the time of taking the insurance, you are eligible for compensation. There are instances where the policy may have expired before the loan repayment ended thus leaving you unprotected. This is the fault of the provider as proper advice regarding the suitability of the policy was not given and hence you can apply for PPI claims.
Latest numbers from the Red Cross left 12,000 people displaced in Burundi while 77 people have died due to floods and landslides in the area.
Torrential rains have caused massive floods in the northern areas of the country, destroying properties and other essential infrastructures. Families report missing members and relatives when the floods hit during the weekend.
According to Alexis Manirakiza, the Burundi Red Cross spokesperson, at least 1,000 houses had been destroyed by the continuous assault of the rain and they have numbered 77 deaths, many of which were women and children. He added that it is possible the number could rise in the coming weeks.
The government had declared a state of calamity in Burundi and they declared two days of national mourning on Tuesday for the victims of the flooding. Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza had called for national and international assistance to help the affected families in Burundi.
According to meterologists, the storms are unlikely to end until the first week of March.
Security Minister Gabriel Nizigima had said many of the victims who died had their houses collapse over them during the storm. He also said some were swept away by the huge floods.
The Burundi government announced plans to increase their infrastructure development spending by 2.5% to 1.4 trillion francs ($910 million) in 2014. The infrastructures they will develop include agriculture, energy, business and residential properties. Burundi’s Finance Ministry specified such in a report on Tuesday.
The Burundi Senate passed the budget Monday.
The new spending increase will have tax revenues increasing to 651.2 billion francs from 565.6 billion in 2013. Burundi’s efforts to fight corruption and steadily improving its modernisation helped in the betterment of its tax collection and spending.
Burundi’s economy is set to increase by 5.4% by experts. Earlier in 2013, the experts estimated 4.8% growth for the following year.
The 2014 Burundi budget will allow the government to get 674.1 billion francs worth of grants from the 711.9 billion grant it received the previous year from international donors and investors.
A British Airways airplane had its wing smashed into a building while landing in a runway at Johannesburg’s Tambo International Airport. The passenger jet’s wing sliced through a building in the evening of Sunday. The spokesman for Oxfam, Harriet Tolputt, said that no one during the flight was injured. However, it was unknown if anybody was in the building during the time of the crash.
The airline provided hotel rooms for the passengers for the evening after the accident.
However, Tolputt said that she did not like the idea that first class passengers need to get off first before the economy fliers when the emergency happened in the economy area.
Ghastly Crash Landing Message
Meanwhile, a British Airways flight from Miami to London terrified its passengers when an automated voice message briefed passengers about the plane crashing by error. A crew member announced that the pre-recorded announcement was played by error and there was no risk of crashing.
However, passengers were deeply rattled by the message. Families and children were disturbed and people were crying as the message played at three in the morning.
The plane landed safely on Saturday with apologies from the management of the British Airways to their passengers.