Antediteste Niragira has been freed by authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, five days after he was detained. The journalist had been covering the refugee crisis on the DRC-Burundi border
Germany’s international broadcaster, DW, on Monday confirmed the release of its correspondent, Antediteste Niragira, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in a press statement.
DW said the journalist was freed from prison hours earlier and taken to the Congolese-Burundian border.
Niragira was arrested on May 17 as he was preparing to report on the conditions of a refugee camp in the DRC town of Kavimvira. The transit center houses Burundian refugees who have fled violence at home.
Congolese intelligence agents accused him of spying, and authorities later refused to provide further information on their accusations.
In a telephone interview with DW’s Africa desk on Monday, a spokesman for the Burundian national police, Pierre Nkurikiye, confirmed: « Antediteste Niragira is in good hands. »
Asked what that means, he answered: « He is in good hands and tomorrow we will issue a press statement. »
Lawyer confirmed release
Earlier, a lawyer commissioned by DW in the DRC had informed the broadcaster that Niragira had been released from prison and taken to the Congolese-Burundian border.
Ahead of the release, DW had denounced the spying accusations against Niragira, calling them « outrageous and baseless. »
DW spokesperson Christoph Jumpelt thanked all other international organizations who had been assisting in the efforts to secure Niragira’s freedom.
He added: « We are very concerned that the Burundian authorities are not letting our correspondent reunite with his family. After all he had to endure unjustly in the DRC, I cannot understand why the Burundian police are retaining him. »