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Burundi rights watchdog decries prisoner releases

[JURIST] Ligue Iteka [official website], a human rights group in Burundi, on Thursday criticized this week's release of 673 political prisoners [JURIST report] held for alleged crimes related to Burundi's 12-year civil war [Global Security backgrounder]. Ligue Iteka director Jean Marie Vianey Kavumbagu questioned the process for identifying and freeing political prisoners, who were evaluated for release by a commission of magistrates and politicians. Kavumbagu also expressed concern that the released prisoners may seek retribution against witnesses and survivors of the fighting which stemmed from the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye [Wikipedia profile], who was elected in Burundi's first multi-party polls in 1993, by a Tutsi ethnic minority group. Reuters has more.

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