1 December 2017

Burundi: CNC to Grant and Withdraw the Press Card From Journalists

The National Assembly passed yesterday a bill revising the law governing the National Communication Council (CNC). Minister of Communication, Nestor Bankumukunzi told MPs the reform aims at improving the council's efficiency. This law will allow CNC to grant journalists a professional press card and withdraw it from them.CNC to grant and withdraw the press card from journalists

The National Assembly passed yesterday a bill revising the law governing the National Communication Council (CNC). Minister of Communication, Nestor Bankumukunzi told MPs the reform aims at improving the council's efficiency. This law will allow CNC to grant journalists a professional press card and withdraw it from them.

Under this bill, CNC will review the application files for the professional press card. The models and categories as well as the conditions for withdrawal of these cards will be fixed by the decision of the council.

Some MPs believe that CNC should not have the prerogative of withdrawing the press card from journalists. They say it should rather have jurisdiction.

According to some of them, the bill grants absolute power to CNC. For this, Bankumukunzi said whoever gets their card removed will have the right to complain to the administrative court." As a way of reassuring them, he said the majority of members of CNC plenary session are journalists. "So, you understand that the decision that will be made will be in accordance with the law," said Minister Bankumukunzi.

Innocent Muhozi, an exiled media professional, says he is not surprised that this law has been adopted by the National Assembly. For him, the government of Burundi aims to deprive citizens and media actors of their right to be informed. If CNC in consultation with the Ministry of Communication can withdraw the press card from journalists, it is a clear indication that a journalist who relays the information that does not please the government will have their press card taken back by the media regulator. Muhozi says the government aimed to limit freedom of expression that Burundians have acquired for several years.

Under this bill, CNC will review the application files for the professional press card. The models and categories as well as the conditions for withdrawal of these cards will be fixed by the decision of the council.

Some MPs believe that CNC should not have the prerogative of withdrawing the press card from journalists. They say it should rather have jurisdiction.

According to some of them, the bill grants absolute power to CNC. For this, Bankumukunzi said whoever gets their card removed will have the right to complain to the administrative court." As a way of reassuring them, he said the majority of members of CNC plenary session are journalists. "So, you understand that the decision that will be made will be in accordance with the law," said Minister Bankumukunzi.

Innocent Muhozi, an exiled media professional, says he is not surprised that this law has been adopted by the National Assembly. For him, the government of Burundi aims to deprive citizens and media actors of their right to be informed. If CNC in consultation with the Ministry of Communication can withdraw the press card from journalists, it is a clear indication that a journalist who relays the information that does not please the government will have their press card taken back by the media regulator. Muhozi says the government aimed to limit freedom of expression that Burundians have acquired for several years.

Burundi

Five Women Burned Within Two Weeks in Western Burundi

Victims are from Rugombo, Buganda and Mugina communes in Cibitoke western province. Women activists decry these… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Iwacu. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.