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Published on Apr 30, 2013
Eric Manirakiza is the Managing Director of African Public Radio (RPA) and Correspondent for Voice of America, Burundi. Here he speaks regarding the gross human rights violations and corruption that he has had a hand in uncovering in Burundi, and the government's extraordinary efforts to silence him and the rest of the media.
In 2011 alone, Human Rights Watch reported 160 political assassinations in Burundi, uncovered mainly by the independent Burundian media. In response, the government has harassed and intimidated the media, which has including jailing journalists for as long as 10 months. Over the last two weeks, the Burundian Parliament and Senate passed a law which would severely restrict the media and subjects they can cover. It now only waits for the President's signature.
All along, Eric has been leading the charge of the private media to maintain press freedoms in Burundi--this despite constant death threats and other intimidation tactics. Now, Eric has started petition on Change.org that calls on the international community, in particular the US, to put pressure on Burundi to maintain press freedoms. The petition has been signed by the former VP of Burundi and Dutch Parliamentarian Jasper Van Dijk. You can read his petition and the comments here: