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Burundi President Ndayishimiye Pardons 5000 Prisoners

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About 5,255 prisoners have been set free from Burundi Prison facilities under a Presidential pardon.

President Evariste Ndayishimiye on March 5, 2021, decreed a pardon for 5,255 prisoners but this excluded political prisoners.

“Benefit from the total remission of custodial sentences, prisoners condemned definitively to sentences less than or equal to five years for all offenses”, decreed President Ndayishimiye.

However, the exception is made for crimes like genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms, participation in armed gangs, attack on the internal and/or external security of the State, mercenarism, terrorism and bioterrorism, intentional homicide, rape, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as well as human trafficking.

Others benefiting from this pardon include; Sentenced women who are pregnant or have children in prison, convicted minors under the age of 18, convicted persons with advanced incurable diseases, convicted persons aged 70 and over at entry into force of this decree, convicts suffering from mental illnesses and those suffering from notorious physical infirmity.

All those sentenced to penal servitude on time who have already served a quarter of their sentence and whose sentences became final on the entry into force of this decree have, for their part, benefited from the reduction of their sentences by half.

In addition, life sentences of penal servitude have been commuted to 20 years of penal servitude, with the exception of convictions for offenses above.

Exceptionally, convicts having already served three quarters of their sentences, women convicted of infanticide or abortion having served at least 3 years of main penal servitude, convicted of corruption and/or corruption-related offenses regardless of the sentence pronounced on condition of having paid the embezzled amounts and the damages pronounced also benefited from the total remission of the sentence.

However, repeat offenders, escapees, those recaptured after the escape, those who facilitated the escape, and those convicted of more than one case are not affected by this measure.

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Crime

Joseph Kony’s Ruthless Commander Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison

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At last justice has been dispensed as the International Criminal Court (ICC) handed a 25-year sentence to Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander, Major General Dominique Ongwen.

Back home in Uganda, South Sudan and Central African Republic where Gen. Ongwen wrecked havoc, families of victims and other people that suffered during his terror operations are now jubilating at the court’s rule on Thursday.

However, Gen. Ongwen who was present during court’s judgement, seemed not bothered. He remained passive as he heard the 25-year sentence handed down to him.

“I am before this international court with so many charges, and yet I am the first victim of child abduction. What happened to me I do not even believe happened to Jesus Christ,” Gen. Ongwen said.

ICC Presiding Judge Bertram Schmitt said judges had to weigh Ongwen’s brutality with his own tortured past as a schoolboy abducted by the LRA when deciding on a sentence.

“The chamber is confronted in the present case with a unique situation. It is confronted with a perpetrator who willfully brought tremendous suffering upon his victims,” Schmitt said.

“However, it is also confronted with a perpetrator who himself had previously endured extreme suffering at the hands of the group of which he later became a prominent member and leader.”

It was the wish of victims of Ongwen’s crimes that court hands him the full life sentence. The defence had sought a 10-year prison term.

Prosecutors had asked for a 20-year prison term for Ongwen, saying his own history justified a lower sentence than the maximum 30 years to life allowed by the ICC.

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Herman Nsengimana In The Dock For Terror Trial

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This Thursday the High Court Special Chamber for International and Cross-border crimes is trying Herman Nsengimana in the terror trial involving Paul Rusesabagina and his co-accused.

Rusesabagina is on record for publicly heading the National Liberation Front (FLN) and Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) and priding their actions of killing, looting, kidnapping and destroying infrastructure in communities surrounding Nyungwe National Park forest in Southern Rwanda.

Rusesabagina appeared in a recorded video message inscribed with a FLN logo,  the armed wing of Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRDC). He declared war against the government of Rwanda.

He claimed that after trying many methods, they failed to remove the regime in Kigali.

“The FLN will use all possible means including the armed struggle to drive the RPF out of power since it refused all peaceful ways,” Rusesabagina said in a message both in English and Kinyarwanda. His terror group later circulated the video via social media platforms.

Later, attacks were executed in parts of Rwanda especially the area bordering Nyungwe forest. A handful Rwandans were shot, homes looted and many injured in the attacks that took place in different phases.

FLN Spokesperson, Callixte Nsabimana currenty on a joint trial with Rusesabagina, always took to international media and social media boasting that his rebel group had carried out the attacks.

For example in In December 2019, Nsabimana also claimed responsibility for setting fire on passenger buses in Nyungwe forest, which led to the death of two people and many injuries.

Taarifa investigative team last year went on a fact-finding tour of this part of Rwanda that has previously suffered attacks from barbaric terrorists known as the National Liberation Front (FLN).

Daniel Minani, 66, had just gone to bed at 10am on April 13, 2019, and suddenly unknown people knocked on the door. They identified themselves as security personnel and told him not to worry. His wife opened the door. They went direct to the bedroom and began looting. “They looted beans, maize, flour,” Minani told Taarifa.

“They walked into the kraal and took my goats, and my son confronted them. They shot him dead. I will never forget the scene. It was a barbaric act. My daughter was about to wed, unfortunately, we called it off. I am still devastated,” Minani narrated his ordeal.

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Crime

Police Shoots Inmates In Kirehe District

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Police has shot five inmates in Kirehe district Poilce cell while they were trying to escape, Police Spokesperson, John Bosco Kabera has confirmed.

Kabera told Taarifa that the unfortunate incident happened in the morning when inmates were being led to take their shower. That the inmates ambushed the officer and ran out.

Other officers shot in the air to stop the suspects from running. “They refused to stop, unfortunately five of them ended up being shot,” he said.

The imamates were all suspects that were awaiting to face charges on several accounts.

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