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Interference is a major challenge that plagues the criminal chain according to Me. Minani

ByWebmaster

Jan 19, 2022

BUJUMBURA January 18th (ABP) – The Association Action for Justice and Equity in Burundi (AJEBU-GENDERINGO) organized on Friday January 14, 2022, in Bujumbura, an awareness-raising workshop for actors in the criminal justice system (Magistrate and OPJ) of the province of Bujumbura and Bujumbura City, which was held under the theme “Analysis of the impact of the Support project for criminal justice: Good practices, challenges and recommendations”.

In an interview granted to the media at the end of that workshop, Me. Salvator Minani, Deputy Legal Representative of AJEBU-GENDERINGO, indicated that this workshop is part of the activities of the legal assistance project for people in need of the two provinces.

He also pointed out that this workshop was organized in the perspective of an evaluation, since another similar one had previously been organized for those same people.

Me. Minani indicates that he is satisfied with the steps already taken but that he is disappointed, at the same time, by certain faults which are always committed. “We are satisfied in a way but we are also disappointed because there are mistakes that are always repeated,” he laments.

He indicates that during that field trip carried out, certain faults committed by certain actors in the criminal chain are always noticeable. Here, he mainly evokes the exceeding of time limits for police custody (GV), the detention of minors, arrest by persons without quality, the non-assistance by counsel and the non-information of the rights of the suspect. There is also and above all the non-registration or late registration of the suspect, the absence of the file, displacement of time limits for police custody or alternative measures to prosecution (MAP).

The deputy legal representative of AJEBU-GENDERINGINGO nevertheless recognizes that the training previously organized for these stakeholders in the criminal justice system has had a positive impact. “The impact for us is that obviously there have been stakeholders in the criminal justice system who have learned of the applicable law through that awareness-raising that we always do and who have now changed their behavior, which is a very important asset for us and if we should continue in the same direction, we think that things will change”, he mentioned.

He also returned to certain major challenges that plague the criminal chain, in that case the logistical problem where it is very difficult to move defendants or detainees, lack of office equipment (papers, photocopier) to photocopy a file and send it but also and above all the lack of telephone means to call the hierarchical authority.

According to Me Minani, interference is another significant challenge: “There is also another challenge which is fundamental, it is the interference of the hierarchy where there are phone calls that come to give instructions”, he laments. To all these challenges already mentioned is added the ignorance of the law which he describes as “no lesser”.

Regarding possible solutions, Me. Minani indicated that the solutions are multiple and the people who must intervene are also multiple. With regard to logistics, he pointed out that it is the State which must intervene in the first place, which must seek donors. He also cited Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations working in the field must get started, he noted.

He considers, on the other hand, that training and awareness-raising constitute, in themselves, one of the best solutions to the interference of people who are outside the criminal chain: “there are those who interfere because they don’t know where the limit of their power is. There are others who do it in bad faith, knowing that they have no right to do so, he continued.

With regard to the AJEBU-GENDERINGINGO, he points out that the members of the said association will continue to intervene alongside the needy and especially the vulnerable, but also to knock on the technical and financial partners who can bring the cornerstone to the building.

                                                                                 View of the meeting participants