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23rd October 2019, 17:23:20 UTC

Marie-Claudette Kwizera, a human rights defender and treasurer of Ligue Iteka, a leading human rights organisation in Burundi, was abducted on 10 December 2015 by members of the National Intelligence Service.

The UN Commission of Inquiry published a report on 13 September 2019 indicating that was killed a few days after she was abducted on 10 December 2015 by members of the National Intelligence Service.

Marie-Claudette Kwizera was abducted as she walked out of an eye clinic in Bujumbura, Burundi. Two days later, an officer from the National Intelligence Service (SNR) told her family that she was being detained at the SNR office and would be released if her family paid a ransom of 2,000 US dollars. They paid the ransom, but she was not release! Marie-Claudette’s family then lodged a complaint with the authorities. The SNR officer was arrested but later released.

Before her abduction, Marie-Claudette Kwizera, a mother of two girls, was serving as the Treasurer for Ligue Iteka, one of the oldest and leading human rights organisations in Burundi.

On 3 January 2017, the government banned it from operating after it published a major report. Before that, Ligue Iteka along with nine other human rights organizations had been under suspension from October 2016 and accused of tarnishing the image of the country and sowing hatred and division in the Burundian population.

The Minister of Justice must instruct the Prosecutor General to open a prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigation into her abduction and killing.

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