Burundi Crime Watch is pleased to announce that we are now in possession of a digital technology that will help human rights activists in Burundi to document and store photographs and films that can be shown in court thanks to the partnership with the London-based International Bar Association (IBA). This initiative will help to bring to justice those responsible for crimes such as torture, rape, war crimes or genocide in Burundi.
This App which is compatible with many mobile phones could also be used to record abuses committed by paramilitary groups or security forces who use violence to disperse demonstrators.
As you all know, there are hundreds of thousands of images about the crisis in Burundi. But so far unfortunately, most of them cannot stand undoubted in a court of law as it has been extremely difficult to verify the authenticity of these images and to protect the safety of those brave enough to record them.
So how this technology makes a difference…?
The procedure is that: Burundi Crime Watch identifies people in Burundi. These people are instructed how to use the App. These people can instruct other people as well. Once the App is in their mobile phone, they can then take a picture, video or record audio of a crime they witness.
Once the video or picture taken, the App adds a time-stamp and GPS-fixed location to recorded images which can then be encrypted and uploaded later to the system’s databanks from anywhere in the world. They can then be sent to “eyewitness project” at London International Bar Association who will use the London Legal Data firm “Lexis Nexis” to store the information on its servers in the USA. Burundi Crime Watch lawyers can then get access to any stored material for cases they want to present to the International Criminal Court who are aware of the technology.
Burundi Crime Watch is dedicated to empowering activists on the ground who are witnessing these atrocities with the ability to bring criminals to justice. For more information about our work, please visit our website which is both in English and French www.burundicrimewatch.org.
To know more about the technology mentioned above, please come to this conference where someone from London International Bar Association will explain more about the it. You can but ticket for the conference by following this link For those who want to donate to contribute to the conference organisation, please use this link.
EMERY P IGIRANEZA ,
Public Relations Officer
Friday 11/03/2016 - 14:00
Burundi Crime Watch is organising an international conference on the current political crisis in Burundi under the theme: Burundi crisis: A genocide in preparation or experts ‘exaggerations. This conference will take at Manchester Media City International Conference complex, United Kingdom on 25th March 2016
Since April 2015, Burundi plunged into a deep political crisis due to president Nkurunziza’s ambitions to secure an illegal third term in office. Civil society groups and opposition took to the street to demonstrate against the open violation of the constitution and the Arusha accords. What started as peaceful demonstrations against the president’s 3rd mandate has now turned into a civil war due to repression by the police and army. So far, 2500 lives of innocent civilians have been lost and over 250 000 have become refugees in neighbouring countries
Current reported crimes include rapes of women and selective and targeted killing of young Tutsi and Hutu opposed to the president’s 3rd term. Most experts such as Adama Dieng, the UN adviser on genocide prevention, have warned that “given Burundi's history of ethnic violence and in light of ongoing fears of attacks based on ethnicity, Burundian parties are encouraged to use their influence to prevent any action that could increase the risk of violence against individuals or groups on the basis of their identity, including political affiliation, religious and ethnic identity,”. Burundi crime watch is echoing the warning of Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussei, the UN’s human rights chief who has warned that “the time for piecemeal responses and fiddling around the edges is over. The situation in Burundi demands a robust, decisive response from the international community.”
The aim of this conference is to call the international community to take collective actions to prevent this crisis escalating into what the UN peacekeeping chief acknowledged could be “a truly worst-case scenario that will result in a scale of violence beyond the United Nations' capacity to protect”. The risk of this worst-case scenario materialising is becoming very real as president Nkurunziza has threatened to use force against a UN and/or African Union backed military protection force
Guest speakers include members of UK parliament, local and central government authorities, local and international NGOs as well as members of the Burundian Diaspora.