18 May 2017

Burundi: Priest Imprisoned Following Charge of Raping Minor, Police Say

The police arrested Abbot Jean Marie Ciza, the principal private secretary of the Archbishop of Gitega in the afternoon of 16 May 2017. He was sent to Gitega Central Prison for raping a minor, police spokesman says.

According to sources from Gitega central province, Jean Marie Ciza was arrested in the evening of 16 May on the orders of the Attorney General of Gitega province. Police sources say he was directly sent to Gitega Central Prison because he could not spend the night in Gitega Commune dungeon due to his fragile health.

Pierre Nkurikiye, the spokesman for the police says Abbot Jean Marie Ciza is accused of raping an under-age girl.

"The victim filed a complaint against the abbot accusing him of having raped her. The girl showed the police a video she recorded when the priest was raping her, "Nkurikiye says. The police spokesman says the video showed the priest dancing naked.

He says the girl has indicated her security is threatened because the priest has sent people to intimidate her and snatch the phone from her so that the video should not be made public.

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