“Inmates at Gitega prison today continued their riots for the second consecutive day, protesting against the total isolation of suspected coup plotters within the same prison as recommended by the country’s attorney general,” Gitega Prison Director Emmanuel Niyonkuru said.
According to him, inmates shouted and threw stones on the roofs of the prison building upon realizing that police agents coming closer to the prison fence.
“Yesterday, two inmates were injured during the riots. Those inmates also broke the door separating the isolation and the other part of the prison. They did not allow us to rehabilitate the door, arguing that the suspects’ total isolation will put them in danger,” said Niyonkuru.
He added that talks are underway between inmates on the one hand and the prison management and the National Independent Human Rights Commission on the other.
“We want the inmates to understand that security is guaranteed inside the prison,” said Niyonkuru.
Gitega prison hosts 28 inmates accused of participating in the failed coup plot staged against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and his government on May 13.
All suspects in the failed coup plot were regrouped in the same prison.
Meanwhile, Lambert Nsabimana, one of the suspects’ lawyers said the presence of several policemen heavily armed at Gitega prison is a worrying situation.
“Our clients are being treated in a discriminated way. We do not see any reason they should be totally isolated.” he said.
Nsabimana also indicated that a period of five months is “abnormal” and too long without the start of the trial against the suspected coup plotters. Enditem