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Burundi: Torture Criminalized in Revised Code

(June 26, 2009) According to a news report from Burundi dated June 25, 2009, the country has adopted a revised penal code that criminalizes torture. Article 23 of the code states that no one “should be treated in an arbitrary manner by the state or its organs.”

The law goes on to say that the country must compensate any victim of such arbitrary treatment. The purpose of the compensation is to repair damage caused by government agents, according to Therese Ntijinama, a law-adviser at the Burundi Supreme Court and Chair of the Supreme Court Administrative Chamber. She went on to explain that the compensation may be based on either the nature of the trauma inflicted or on the loss of future earnings. The comments were made at a roundtable discussion on torture sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development. (Burundi Incorporates Torture into New Penal Code, to Compensate Victims, BURUNDI PRESS AGENCY ONLINE, June 25, 2007, available at
(World News Connection database, requires ID and password).)