French broadcaster sued over 'Burundi massacre' footage

French broadcaster sued over 'Burundi massacre' footage
Source: BBC
Date: 25-01-2019 Time: 11:01:13:am
Share
President Nkurunziza won a third term in office in 2015

A defamation case lodged by Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza against a French TV channel, a Belgian lawyer and a Burundian writer has begun at a court in France's capital, Paris.

Mr Nkurunziza says that three years ago France 3 broadcast footage showing scenes of a massacre allegedly carried out on one of his properties by the ruling party’s youth wing.

But he says that the footage was not recorded in Burundi but somewhere in West Africa.

A ticker bar over the footage said "Proof of acts of violence in Burundi", alleging it was filmed in Karuzi, north-west of the capital, Bujumbura.

It was aired at the peak of election-related violence in Burundi in 2016.

It purported to show members of the Burundian opposition, who “were assassinated before being castrated and having their throats slit by enthusiastic executioners", France24 reports. 

It also had footage of people speaking in Hausa, a language that is not spoken in Burundi or any of its neighbouring countries, France24 said.

After Mr Nkurunziza raised his concerns about the footage, France 3 apologised.


A Belgian lawyer, Bernard Maingain, is believed to have handed the video to the French channel while the Burundian writer David Gakunzi was interviewed on air about the footage.

The Burundian government has been criticised by the international community for alleged human rights abuses blamed on its security agencies and the ruling party's youth wing known as Imbonerakure.

Authorities in Burundi have always rejected the allegations as fabrications.

The case continues.


Have your say  


More World Headlines


What others are reading
Gov't's 'Year of Return' sash gaffe generates social media trolls
Stereotyping Nigerians: High Commissioner was right to caution media
Akufo-Addo’s Jamaican Visa waiver comments undermine Parliament – Ablakwa
BOST signs Collective Bargaining Agreement with Senior Staff