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Editor arrested and detained on "defamation" charges

(JED/IFEX) - On 10 August 2010, Thierry Ndayishimiye, editor of the Bujumbura-based private weekly "Arc-en-ciel" ("Rainbow'), was arrested and taken to Bujumbura's central prison, commonly known as Mpimba prison. Arrested on orders of the deputy public prosecutor, Ndayishimiye is accused of "defamation" relating to Celestine Nduwamungu, director general of the National Board of Water and Electricity (Régie Nationale d'Eau et d'Electricité, REGIDESO).

Ndayishimiye was questioned for the third time by the deputy prosecutor for denouncing REGIDESCO's embezzlement of almost 280 million FBU (approx. US$110,000), in a 30 July article ("Odeur d'un détournement de près de 280 millions").

Before being transferred to Mpimba prison, Ndayishimiye was detained for one hour in an underground prison cell in the Bujumbura municipal building.

Ndayishimiye's attorney, Gabriel Sinarinzi, told Agence France Presse (AFP) that his client had shown the deputy prosecutor the documents that proved the embezzelement allegations. Ndayishimiye also declared that his intention was not to evade justice.

Journaliste en danger (JED) condemns Ndayishimiye's imprisonment and calls for his immediate release. JED also demands, once again, the unconditional release of journalist Jean-Claude Kavubangu. Editor of Net Press, Kavubangu has been held since 17 July in Bujumbura's central prison on "treason" charges.

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