World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Burundi: freedom of speech rewarded with arrest

Burundi - expressing freedom of speech rewarded with arrest

Brussels (ICFTU Online): Following the arrest of two senior Burundi trade union leaders on 24th September 2004, the ICFTU addressed the country's President to urge for their immediate and unconditional release.

Pierre Claver Hajayandi and Célestin Nsavyimana, President and Treasurer of the Confederation of Burundi's Labour Unions (COSYBU) respectively, were arrested around midday on Friday. Police had earlier come to the union's headquarters and asked Hajayandi to accompany them, which he refused on the grounds that they had no official arrest warrant. Police then returned at 13:00 hrs, detained both union leaders and seized the union's computer hard disk. The arrests closely followed the leaders' address before workers in a meeting during which they reportedly criticised government plans to submit a new draft constitution to a national referendum

The ICFTU pointed out that in arresting Hajayandi and Nsavyimana, the Burundi government was contravening human rights and trade union rights, including the right to free speech, and curtailing the trade union organisation's freedom to analyse national political developments.

Due to be the subject of a referendum on 20th October 2004, the Burundi draft constitution has been strongly criticised for its content - including a clause which guarantees the legitimacy of the current government even when its official mandate has expired.

In addition to its appeal to the Burundi President, the ICFTU called on the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) to urgently intervene in this case and help secure the release of the two detainees.

Link to ICFTU letter addressed to Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye (French original):

Link to ICFTU letter sent to ILO Director General Juan Somavia (French original):

The ICFTU represents 148 million workers in 234 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news