Well-known Burundian journalist Jean Bigirimana has been missing since Friday, when he was allegedly arrested by intelligence agents.
He works for the independent media house Group Press IWACU and also for the Great Lakes regional magazine, Info Grands Lacs.
His wife told ANA that he had left his residence in Bujumbura at about 13:00 for Bugarama commune in the province of Muramvya, 30km from the capital Bujumbura.
He had told her that he would not be too long. But she waited for him in vain.
“Later that evening I received an anonymous call which told me that my husband had been arrested in Bugarama commune,” she said.
She added that the following day she went to Bugarama and got information from anonymous witnesses that her husband had been arrested by intelligence agents of the local administration.
She said for the last three days she had been looking for him in all the jails in Muramvya province and even Bujumbura, but did not find him.
Bigirimana is a nephew to Léonidas Hatungimana, the former spokesperson of President Pierre Nkurunziza, but now one of the CNDD-FDD senior officials who have gone into exile because they opposed Nkurunziza running for a third term as president last year, despite the two-term limit in the constitution.
According to some sources, Bigirimana has made several trips to neighbouring Rwanda to research reports on the lives of Burundian journalists who currently live in exile in Rwanda.
National police spokesperson Pierre Nkurikiye told ANA that he could not say anything about the arrest and that even the media houses he worked for had not yet contacted the police to ask for him.
The Observatory of the Burundian Press (OPB) c0ondemned the arrest and detention of Bigirimana in an unknown place.
“This is a deplorable act,” said OPB vice president Léandre Sikuyavuga, who is also chief editor of Group Press IWACU.
– African News Agency (ANA)