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Journalist receives death threats from senior official

(JED/IFEX) - On 18 July 2009 in Makamba, a city in southwestern Burundi, Marc Niyonkuru, a correspondent for Radio Isanganiro, a privately-owned station that broadcasts across the country, received death threats from Pasteur Bucumi, Director General of City Planning and an active member of the ruling political party (the National Council for the Defence of Democracy - Forces for the Defence of Democracy, CNDD/FDD).

According to information obtained by JED, on 18 July, Niyonkuru broadcast a news item according to which Bucumi made use of an official car for the activities of his political party.

Just after the news broadcast, Bucumi threatened the journalist over the phone, telling him that if he dared to transmit such information again, his life would be in danger. The following day, Bucumi summoned Niyonkuru to his office to threaten him again. This behaviour was decried by Alexandre Niyungero, president of the Burundi Association of Journalists.

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