Reporters Without Borders lashes out at the ‘despicable assault’ against Esdras Ndikumana, a Burundian AFP reporter who says he was held for around two hours, during which he said he was subjected to severe beatings on his back, legs and the soles of his feet. He was later released and hospitalised, with the injuries also including a suspected broken finger. Ndikumana says he was taking pictures at the scene of the general’s assassination in Bujumbura when he was arrested by members of the National Intelligence Service (SNR) and taken to their offices.
Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to ‘immediately open an enquiry to identify and punish those who carried out this barbaric act’. AFP’s global news director says she is ‘very shocked’ by the attack.
We will seek explanations from the authorities in Burundi and an assurance that such an incident will not happen again. Our correspondent must be able to continue to carry out his work in complete safety.
The Eastern Africa Journalists Association also says the incident a attempt to ‘intimidate and terrify’ the reporter.
Media are clearly being targeted. It has to stop.