If you were suspected of a crime, would you be treated fairly? In Burundi... the likely answer is no. This project gives 80 women and child detainees a trained defense lawyer and their day in court.
62% of people detained in Burundi prisons are awaiting trial. Yet to be convicted, these individuals sit in legal purgatory indefinitely, without access to family, medical assistance, legal counsel, or expected dates to trial – while investigators use coercive methods of interrogation, including arbitrary detention and even torture. This project seeks to help women and children, whose the situation is particulary dire - imprisoned with men, and often the victims of rape and battery.
IBJ mines jail records to find vulnerable clients lost within the legal system. Our public defenders investigate each case, motion for bail, lobby judges to expedite clients’ trial dates, and provide high quality counsel throughout the trial.
Over the course of a year, this project will secure legal protections and fair trial for 80 women and children who are currently facing indefinate detention - lost within the Burundian criminal justice system.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
IBJ Staff Blog about the Burundi Program
IBJ Burundi Page