News / Africa

Burundi Media Law Too Restrictive, Activists Say

Burundian journalists carry a banner as they march in the streets of Burundi's capital Bujumbura, May 3, 2011.
Burundian journalists carry a banner as they march in the streets of Burundi's capital Bujumbura, May 3, 2011.
Gabe Joselow
— Journalists and activists in Burundi are opposing new legislation they say will infringe on press freedoms and lobbying the president to reject the bill.

Last week, Burundi’s senate approved a new media bill that would force journalists to disclose sources, and bans the press from reporting on issues deemed too sensitive, including public security, defense and the economy. Media houses that overstep the boundaries could face thousands of dollars in fines.
 
Bob Rugurika, editor in chief of Radio Publique Africaine (RPA) in Burundi, says the restrictions are unacceptable.
 
There are many, many restrictions, he said. The law prevents reporters from working on news about security, the economy, the currency, according to Rugurika.
 
Right groups including the Committee to Protect Journalists and Amnesty International have urged President Pierre Nkurunziza to reject the new law, which they say undermines press freedom.
 
The bill was passed by an overwhelming majority in both the national assembly and the senate, which have been under the complete control of the ruling party since the opposition boycotted the last election in 2010.
 
Lawmakers have said the bill will protect the country’s citizens and leaders.
 
The director of RPA, which tends to align with the former opposition, has started a petition urging the international community to put more pressure on the government.
 
Rugurika said they are trying to “alert the world.”
The director sent the petition to American senators and politicians because those are the partners of our government, he said, pointing out that they can help activists make the government understand that they are heading in the wrong direction.
 
Burundi's government has a recent history of being heavy-handed with journalists.  Rugurika himself has been detained several times by police over the past few years.
 
Journalist Hassan Ruvavkuki appeals his life sentence at a court in Gitega, Oct. 18, 2012.Journalist Hassan Ruvavkuki appeals his life sentence at a court in Gitega, Oct. 18, 2012.
x
Journalist Hassan Ruvavkuki appeals his life sentence at a court in Gitega, Oct. 18, 2012.
Journalist Hassan Ruvavkuki appeals his life sentence at a court in Gitega, Oct. 18, 2012.
In 2011, he was questioned for 10 hours after broadcasting an interview that implicated state forces in a massacre that killed 40 people.

In March, authorities released Hassan Ruvakuki, a journalist arrested in 2011 on terrorism charges after he met with rebels in Tanzania. 

He said he was only doing his job at the time, and the charges were reduced during his appeal.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid