Burundi media trial observation, 2006
Following concerns over the political motivation behind charges levied against four journalists from Burundi, the IBAHRI sent an international observer to Bujumbura in December 2006 to attempt to determine whether the trial and subsequent appeal hearings had been conducted in accordance with international standards. The observer met with a number of people involved in the case, including the detained journalists, their defence counsel, the Bujumbura Chief Prosecutor and the President of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Bujumbura. The trial was initially acquitted, but the aquittal was appealed in January 2007.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, the IBAHRI monitored the scheduled appeal hearing of the journalists, which were adjourned on at least six occasions. The IBAHRI sent an international observer to monitor the appeal hearing of the journalists, which was finally held on 30 April 2008.
There has been an alleged crackdown on freedom of expression in Burundi since the election of the new Government in September 2005. The IBAHRI observer found that the journalists held in the case were not informed clearly of the nature of the charges against them and that this failure breached recognised international human rights standards for fair trials. The IBAHRI issued a report in July 2008 detailing its findings, the report is titled: Burundi: the media on trial.