A new press law that would severely limit the activities of journalists in Burundi poses a grave threat to freedom of expression, Amnesty International said today.
The draft law, which includes new press-related crimes and exorbitant fines for journalists who violate them, looks set to be signed off by Burundi's President after it was adopted by the country's Senate earlier this month.
The proposal restricts the right to report on anything relating to state and public security, as well as information that threatens the economy or "insults the President".
"Freedom of expression in Burundi is gravely under threat from this repressive law, which has great potential to be abused and places journalists at the mercy of the authorities," said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International's Africa Director.
"President Pierre Nkurunziza must reject the draft, and ensure that journalists are able to carry out their legitimate work freely and without the threat of legal action."