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Burundi’s Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Search Without Warrant

Burundi’s National Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill seeking to allow the police to conduct random searches in residential areas without a search warrant.

The police will be allowed to conduct the searches in localities where suspects have been reported.

The bill allows them to carry out the searches at any time if they have informed the prosecutor through a phone call or a message.

Opposition lawmakers however criticized the bill, saying it would infringe on the liberties of citizens.

While presenting the bill in the Assembly, Justice Minister Aimee Laurentine Kanyana said it was meant to deter terrorists and other criminals.

“The new law is coming to fight terrorism and other crimes like rape or people keeping or owning arms illegally. It brings a lot of innovations like night-time searches and searches without necessarily warrants,” he said.

Kanyana said the bill also provides the search of a computer of a suspect or social networks used by the suspect and allows police officers to secretly install cameras or recorders in a car or a house of suspects in order to identify and arrest them.

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