CPJ joins call urging Burundi to maintain internet access during elections

In this photo taken Monday, April 27, 2020, crowds of supporters of the ruling party gather for the start of the election campaign, in Bugendana, Gitega province, Burundi. Burundi is kicking out the World Health Organization's top official in the country Walter Kazadi Mulombo and three experts, saying they must leave by Friday, May 15, 2020, just days before the presidential election and after the WHO raised concerns about crowded political rallies which health officials say risk facilitating the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza)

CPJ joins call urging Burundi to maintain internet access during elections

Supporters of the ruling party are seen in Bugendana, Burundi, on April 27, 2020. CPJ recently joined a letter calling on Burundi to maintain internet access during the elections. (AP/Berthier Mugiraneza)

The Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday joined 30 other rights organizations in a joint letter urging the government of Burundi to ensure that the internet remains accessible before, during, and after the presidential elections scheduled for tomorrow.

In the letter, addressed to President Pierre Nkurunziza, the organizations, which are part of the #KeepItOn coalition against internet shutdowns, also call for the unblocking of all independent media websites and a guarantee that the public will be informed about any potential internet disruptions. Currently, at least three independent news websites are blocked in Burundi, according to the letter.

Burundi’s elections are taking place amid a hostile environment for the media, including the ongoing detention of four journalists from the Iwacu news website and government bans on the BBC and Voice of America broadcasters, as CPJ has documented.

Angela Quintal
Africa Program Coordinator
+1 (212) 300-9004




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