He presents neurological problems because of the tortures he was subjected to, and he is barely able to move.
Richard-Spyros Hagabimana, a Colonel from Burundi, who is also a Greek citizen and a faithful Orthodox Christian, has been cruelly tortured and illegally held in various prisons in Burundi since June 2015, and is to be tried on December the 14th 2015, under the false accusation of participating in the attempted coup of May 2015. In fact he is jailed and tortured for refusing to use violence to repress -and even to kill- protesting demonstrators, mostly women and children.
We are urgently requesting the active help that any Greek or International entity or authority can provide. We are asking that he be provided with a fair trial, and in the presence of international observers.
The conditions under which his trial is conducted are exceptionally bad. Richard-Spyros is held under terrible conditions and in isolation in the Gitega ghost-prison. He presents neurological problems because of the tortures he was subjected to, and he is barely able to move. He does not have the appropriate access to his lawyer, he is not allowed to call witnesses or in a position to gather necessary documentation. In general, he is unable to prepare his line of defense. At the same time, political pressure for his conviction is immense. He is being driven to a guillotine-trial.
The Court has blatantly rejected the request for postponement by the defendants, which request pertained to their inability to this day to access the documents of the case file. Nowhere is there a precedent of a trial without the accused being able to be informed of the devastating accusations they are facing.
Meantime, Spyros' urgent Appeal before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is being examined, in Geneva.
Furthermore, the International Penal Court of Hague is also attending to Spyros' case, in regard to the torture and illegal incarceration he has been subjected to.
European institutional organizations have been requested even at this very last moment that they secure conditions of Fair Trial, as well as send International Observers during the Proceedings.
On the second day of the "trial", after having rejected the request for postponement in order to gain enough time to access the case file, THE COURT EXPELLED THE DEFENDANTS' LAWYERS from the proceedings! The reason was a "supposed encumbrance of the proceedings" by them.
The meeting was postponed until Friday, in order that the defendants may find "new" lawyers.
Five of the defendants even have international lawyers. Four of them have the Belgian, Bernard Maingain, and Spyros has two Greeks.
What is even more outrageous, is that the aforementioned Belgian is being criminally persecuted, for... complicity in the coup against the State - in other words, for the crime he was called upon to defend his clients.
THIS IS THE UTMOST FORM OF JUDICIAL INTIMIDATION !!
A court case such as this, with the violation of even elementary rights, is entirely inconceivable; that is, without any possibility of being informed of the accusation and without access to a lawyer chosen by the defendants.
The Trial, as mentioned, will continue on Friday.
Sign the petition to Free Richard-Spiros Hagabimana!
*Please sign both petitions, they have different recipients
Burundi: pour un avocat, le colonel Hagabimana a été torturé! Signez la pétition pour sa libération!
Burundi : Uhuru katika Richard-Spiros Hagabimana! Tafadhali, saini ombi kwa ajili ya kutolewa yake!
Free Richard-Spiros Hagabimana! Sign the petition for his release!...
Police officer was arrested in Bujumbura because he refused to use force against demonstrators. His life is in danger!
About Orthodox Church in Burundi, see here.
Update: Glory to God, Richard-Spiros Hagabimana is free - petition is closed (January 2016).