Skip to main content

tv   Our World  BBC News  December 8, 2018 9:30pm-10:01pm GMT

9:30 pm
hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump has announced his cheese of staff will leave his job. —— chief of staff. cheese of staff will leave his job. -- chief of staff. the french interior minister has said they have ruled under control the violence. the interior minister described it as an acceptable. china has warned of grave quote —— consequences if they don't release the employee of the textjohn. people have died and been crushed in a crash at an italian nightclub. at 10pm, kate silverton will have a round—up of the news. first, our
9:31 pm
world, looks at randy. you may find some scenes upsetting. —— our world looks at burundi. you may find some scenes upsetting. december 2016. a video is widely shared by burundians on social media. it shows red liquid flowing from the drains of a private house. those who posted it speculated that the liquid might be blood being washed away. speculation grew that this house was being used by the east african country's feared intelligence services as an interrogation and torture centre.
9:32 pm
the government denied this. but a bbc investigation has heard testimony that this house was being used for torture and murder to silence dissent. the reason why we are here is to protest this third term of the president. the streets of the capital, bujumbura, in 2015. burundi is a tiny country in the great lakes
9:33 pm
region of africa. between 1993 and the early 2000s, there was a civil war in the country. a conflict which pitted the tutsi minority, who had held power for many years, against the hutu majority. the war ended when nelson mandela brokered a deal laying out the terms for a power—sharing agreement. he has agreed that the new army should be created from 50% of the hutus and 50% of the tutsis. the agreement also said that no president could hold powerfor more than two terms. it laid the foundations for a decade of peace and prosperity.
9:34 pm
—— peace and stability. but when pierre nkurunziza decided to run for a third term in 2015, many said he was violating the peace deal — a charge the president has always denied. it led to widespread protests in the country. people took to the streets, claiming he was violating the constitution. peaceful protests soon turned violent. hundreds were killed. these images were filmed when the bbc could still report freely on burundi's troubles. but there was a brutal crackdown on local independent media. foreign journalists were denied visas and special instructions were left at a border post refusing entry to a bbc team. faced with these restrictions,
9:35 pm
to try to find out what was really happening in burundi, the bbc decided to investigate some of the social media stories and images that have been trickling out of the country in recent years. the government likes to portray burundi as a country now at peace. but these clips tell a different story. in this video, members of the ruling party's youth wing chant songs about rape. here, supporters sing about burning opponents. other posts appear to show dead bodies floating in the country's lakes and rivers. this video of the red liquid pouring from the drain of a private house was among the most disturbing.
9:36 pm
it also contains some information that allowed us to investigate further. it was posted on social media with an address — 76 ntwara nte. it is here, in kinanira, a quiet residential neighbourhood of bujumbura. in april this year we managed to find the house's owner, prosper kaze. he is an active member of the opposition who no longer lives in burundi, and he recognised his property in the video. it is the place where i grew up, so i can't mistake it. not a good drawing, but it is from memory. this is the sitting—room. with prosper‘s guidance and family photos, forensic architecture,
9:37 pm
who specialise in the precise reconstruction of witness testimony, built this virtual model of the house. it is the house prosper grew up in, and to which he took his own children to spend time with their grandparents. his family left the country and abandoned the property in 2015 at the height of the protests. in november of that year, pictures showing what looked like the same house being raided by security forces emerged on social media. a journalist was also at the scene and gave us these images. they mapped perfectly onto the model. the security forces said they were reclaiming the property from rebels.
9:38 pm
prosper‘s house was now in the hands of burundi's authorities. but what did they do with it, and why, one year later, was red liquid flowing from its gutter? after months of searching, we tracked down a man who claimed to know the property, and what happened here. we will call him nathan. he drew a sketch of it for us, which proved that he really was familiar with the layout of prosper‘s house. nathan says he worked as a guard for a man called alexis ndayikengurukiye, known as nkoroka.
9:39 pm
this is nkoroka. he is the deputy head of interior security for burundi's intelligence service, and he is accused by local human rights activists of running secret detention centres across the country. normally he does not kill, but he orders. he tells you, work. you do what he orders you to do. ok, the door is here? the door is there, leading to that room. we took forensic architecture to meet nathan. using the model to work through the house, nathan gave a detailed account of what he had witnessed in each room. how many people were in the house? i don't remember the exact number. but in the detainees' room and in the other room, there were around 20 people.
9:40 pm
nkoroka was the one in charge of the house, so sometimes he would get them out, beat them up in the living room. the detainees were made to lie down and the chairs from the other side. i can't tell if they were beaten one by one. all i know is that they were screaming. we managed to find a man that had entered that very living room, and face nkoroka's interrogation. we will call him pierre. pierre was accused of involvement in the protests. he was tortured but later escaped and fled the country. when i was inside i was like someone who was already dead. i didn't think i would ever get out. now that i am far away, i am starting to forget. but what keeps coming back to me are the screams
9:41 pm
that i heard over there. pierre's is the most detailed and shocking account of how nkoroka, a senior officer in burundi's intelligence service, allegedly dealt with those suspected of opposing the government. if they wanted to question someone they would call him and they would approach the chief and kneel before him. so we would be in line somewhere here and they would call us one by one. each case was different. but if they were not satisfied with your answer they would torture you. you would hand them your hands and they would beat them with electric cables. also, they would hit you under the feet while kneeling. i recall one of the cables that had many wires inside, with a black rubber cover. that was the one that the chief used to work around me.
9:42 pm
a black rubber cable enclosing many wires that he would beat you up with, if he was not satisfied with your answer. in december 2016, the man we're calling pierre heard something worse than the regular beatings. two people, he said, tried to escape from the house and the guards chased after them. so we could hear people shouting and saying, "get those dogs, don't let them escape or you will suffer consequences." when they finally got to them, i could hear them screaming in a way that suggested that they were being killed or being inflicted excruciating pain. they did not come back in the house after and, given the words i could hear, i think they were killed. it was not just the screaming that made pierre think the detainees had been killed.
9:43 pm
he also says he heard the chief, nkoroka, talking about body bags. then that day he said, "bring sacks and stuff in those dogs, and lower them in the car." that is why i think people were killed there before, because those bags were used to carry corpses. pierre did not see any of this. he was locked in a room listening to the terrifying sound of men screaming outside but, at around the same time, just before the video of the red liquid began to circulate, our guard, who we are calling nathan, says he saw a killing with his own eyes. his account contains striking similarities to pierre's testimony. he describes three men being brought into the house. they were tall, one of them was especially big.
9:44 pm
let me tell you the truth, the whole truth, during the time of that blood, they had brought three men and had put them in that room over there. the next night, an intelligence agent came and took them out of the habitation room to the living room. that was nkoroka. he ordered these guards to behead them. at that point, one of the guys, who was a tough man, tried to forge ahead and escape. according to nathan, the tough man who tried to escape was caught and killed just inside the main gate. he says the guards carried the body back into the living room, where the two other prisoners had already been beheaded with knives. then they brought sacks to stuff their corpses in. we tied the sacks then we took a new tent and laid it
9:45 pm
to the cardboard area of the car. loaded the corpses in the car, and covered them with a tent and they drove. nathan says the bodies were carried away in sacks but the blood of the three men remained on the floor and the driveway, and had to be cleaned up. if that blood was coming from the house, it was from the kids' bathroom... prosper, who built the sewage system for this house, says that, if it had been poured into this bathroom drain, it would have flowed into this gutter. the same gutter seen in the video posted on december 28th. it's impossible to be 100% sure that this liquid is the blood of the three men nathan described, but nathan did confirm that pierre, the prisoner who says he heard men being killed, was also held captive at 76 avenue ntwarante at the time
9:46 pm
of the alleged killings. what is clear is that this house was being used as a torture and detention facility for those opposing the authorities but why? in 2015 when president pierre nkurunziza decided to stand for a third term, thousands took to the streets and, in response, the regime mobilized its security apparatus to suppress dissent. today, our sources say that this programme to eliminate opposition is ongoing. some also believe that those in charge are trying to turn the country's two main ethnic groups, hutus and tutsis, against each other, to distract
9:47 pm
attention from pierre nkurunziza's attempts to stay in power. we found an intelligence agent who worked for the government until he fled the country in 2016. but he was willing to speak to us. he admits to killing people during the time of the protests in which both hutus and tutsis took part. but he says the crackdown was directed at areas heavily populated by tutsis. not many tutsis worked with us. we were almost all hutus. and those we killed came from neighbourhoods where there were very few hutus. before ordering us to kill, they told us tutsis do not want us to rule but later on we came to realise that they had lied to us. according to the former insiders we spoke to, the crackdown of 2015 has now turned into a quiet, orchestrated programme to eliminate opposition.
9:48 pm
prosper‘s house is not the only site that has reportedly been used as a secret detention centre for political prisoners. at least 21 other torture locations have been reported by victims and intelligence agents to the un, to the civil society organisation, ndondeza, and to the bbc, in these areas of the country. of these 21, we have been able to locate eight sites in the capital with precision, including: muha military camp, the national intelligence agency headquarters, the basement of the ruling party headquarters, containers in the yard of the national water and electricity provider's building, in kigobe, and the headquarters of the police unit in charge of protecting the country's institutions.
9:49 pm
this is where former president melchior ndadaye was buried. there has been a police presence next to his tomb for years but between september and november, 2015, a new structure appeared and our sources say it became a base for an antiriot brigade. the troops are visible here. they were deployed to suppress the protests in 2015, and were accused of using containers in the yard as detention and torture sites. a victim told us that he was interrogated in this pink house, in the suburb of mutakura, in 2016. it is a former bakery abandoned by its owner during the protests. the victim told the bbc that liquid was injected into his stomach. and another former intelligence agent told us that he saw people being killed in a bar called iwabowa ba ntu —
9:50 pm
it belonged to the now deceased head of intelligence, adolphe nshimirimana. 0ur source told us the killers would blast loud music to cover the screams. local human rights groups confirm that political violence is still happening. we have analysed the reports coming out of burundi, they indicate that, although fewer deaths were reported in 2017, more and more people are going missing or being tortured and that these incidents are now spread right across the country. we put the allegations contained in this film to the burundian authorities and to alexis ndayikengurukiye, nkoroka, directly. we have not received a formal response. president pierre nkurunziza and his government have always
9:51 pm
denied involvement in human rights violations, but several of the sources we have spoke to, including former government insiders, believe that this alleged programme of detention and torture has been approved at the highest levels. this was organised in closed circles. this is a secret that is known by very high—ranking officials. what i'm telling you, the president knew because he was given reports. we put these allegations to the president's office and received no formal response. the protests of 2015 have disappeared from the streets of bujumbura, as have the journalists who covered them, but it would be a mistake, says one former intelligence agent,
9:52 pm
to think that burundi is now at peace. some people think that the country is safe now. i want to tell you this, this small respite is for them the best time to carry out the killings without anyone noticing it. this is a man we will call martin. he worked for the regime and fled the country in 2018 because he feared for his life. let me repeat this, they have a long list of people to be killed, they have list of army element, police officers, civil servants who are to be killed because they are believed to be dissident or people who are believed not to support the ruling party enough. they have changed their operating mode, the cars, the body bags, the tents, the agents that they use in their new system. at the moment, the country is silent but people continue to die
9:53 pm
and there will be no one left. by asking questions about what happened in this house, we have uncovered disturbing evidence that burundi's government is still using violence to eliminate opposition. multiple witnesses have told us about a hidden but systematic programme of torture and killing, getting rid of opponents. local dissidents have a name for this, they call it kamwe kamwe — one by one. hello, thanks for joining hello, thanks forjoining me, the weekend has started on a wet and blustery note. some sunshine around but the wind a real feature and no surprise when you see the number of isobars across the british isles. as we start sunday, the wind will still
9:54 pm
bea we start sunday, the wind will still be a feature. the direction of the wind will catch your eye as you step out on sunday, but across the eastern side particularly because it is from north and north—west. 0nce we have got rid of the early showers across the south, a lot of fine and dry weather but it does nothing for the temperatures. some of the costs could be up to my —— a0 mph. from sunday on into monday, a ridge of high pressure topley name from the atlantic, killing off the showers so it will be a chilly one. plenty of sunshine to start the day, turning hazy at a crucial weather front in from the aunt, the rain only confined to parts of northern ireland and the far western fringes of scotla nd ireland and the far western fringes of scotland so if you need a dry, decent day, monday is the day for you. tuesday isn't too shabby either. this was the front pushes up across the british isles but noticed the direction of flow, from
9:55 pm
south—west to north—east across all parts of the british isles. across the western two thirds, it is relatively mild at atlantic theme that dominates the weather but on that dominates the weather but on that flow, it has picked up a lot of moisture, there will be a lot of cloud. 0ut towards the east, it will stay cooler throughout the day, so you've got one of those days. yes, it's dry, but there won't be a lot of sunshine. grey skies, temperatures never better than eight 01’ temperatures never better than eight or nine, but towards the west, ten, 11,12,13 or nine, but towards the west, ten, 11, 12, 13 is distinctly possible. not a great deal changes. except the weather from makes more not a great deal changes. except the weatherfrom makes more ground. with the thickening cloud, we may find more rain in western scotland and through northern ireland and wales, and the odd bit into the south west, and the odd bit into the south west, and all the while, a relatively cool but dry and cloudy to the eastern
9:56 pm
side of britain. into the thursday, it gets interesting, we bring in a more vigorous weather front from the allan taylor but it is still running into the high—pressure, across the north sea and feeley in relatively cooler. this is where, on the leading edge, we made, and it is a, have some snowfall, particularly across the hills of cross —— of northern britain. it isjust difficult at this range to work out which ms is going to predominate, is at them while they're from you and ta ke at them while they're from you and take all is it the cooler air sitting over scandinavia 7 take all is it the cooler air sitting over scandinavia? later into next week, towards the weekend and start of the next it may well be that we have the jet stream dominating the scene across particularly the southern portions of it, and that could feed in my house but wet and windy conditions across particularly the south but
9:57 pm
further north after the chilly stuck to the week but dry, it may well be that the cooler air stays in place and don't forget that battle which could lead to some snow come thursday. violence on the streets of paris as protestors and police clash for the fourth weekend in a row. cars are set alight and tear gas fired as thousands of the so—called yellow vest protestors take to the streets. they've been pushing them up and down this street all morning and the tension is starting to rise. we'll have the latest live from paris. also tonight... a plan b for brexit? amber rudd becomes the first minister to openly discuss alternatives to the prime minister's deal. in new zealand, detectives are to charge a man with the murder of the british backpacker grace millane. and england will face scotland at next year's women's football world cup.
9:58 pm
9:59 pm
10:00 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on