TIME Burundi

Man Survives Mob Attack in Burundi as Protests Intensify

Jean Claude Niyonzima was forced to hide in sewers to escape his attackers

The mob knew where to go, says Associated Press photographer Jerome Delay. “They went straight to his house, found him, and started beating him up with sticks and stones.”

On Thursday, in Bujumbura, Burundi, Jean Claude Niyonzima, a man suspected of being a member of ruling party’s Imbonerakure youth militia, came close to being lynched.

Since April 25, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term in office, the Great Lakes country has been the scene of violent protests. Burundi’s constitution says the president should be elected by universal direct suffrage for a mandate of five years, renewable one time, according to the Associated Press.

The protests remain localized, said Delay, taking place mostly in strongholds of the opposition, but “they are spreading,” he tells TIME. “There have been attempts by small groups to hit the [city’s] business district, but they were quickly repressed. Protesters have blocked streets with barricades. There is a strong police presence throughout, with the military acting as a buffer between police and protesters.”

But the protesters are getting more organized, and the police is now running out of tear gas. “They have started using live bullets,” said Delay, who received a call Thursday morning from a colleague, freelance photographer Phil Moore, that trouble was brewing.

In the Cibitoke district of Bujumbura, a dead protester laid in a pool of blood—he had been shot in the head. “Many soldiers came to the scene,” said Delay. “They were being yelled at by protesters who felt they had failed to protect them.” A mob formed and started marching. And that’s when they reached Jean Claude Niyonzima’s house.

“The attack was a flashback to scenes I had witnessed in Bangui last year,” said the photographer, who covered the violent conflict in Central African Republic in 2013 and 2014. “The zero tolerance for the other, the rage of revenge after one of yours was killed. They must have known where to go. They went straight to his house.”

Niyonzima tried to escape several times—cornered between two buildings, begging for his life, the entire scene felt like an interrogation, said Delay. “He was grabbed, kicked, hit, stoned, but still he had the survival strength to flee into a wide sewer under a hail of stone.”

Then, the army rushed in, firing shots in the air to disperse the crowd. “The soldiers pulled him out of the sewers and kept his assailants at bay,” Delay said. But it only took a minute for the protestors to find another victim, just a few meters up the street. A still unidentified man was beaten and left for dead.

“Where this will go is anyone’s guess,” said Delay. “Members of the civil society have asked protesters to refrain from mounting such attacks, but I’ve just learned that a man was burned to death elsewhere in town.”

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

Olivier Laurent is the Editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME Crime

What Really Happened to Freddie Gray? Here Are 4 Theories

Until the Baltimore police reveal the findings of their investigation, city residents can only speculate

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts announced Thursday that an internal task force investigating the fatal injury of Freddie Gray in police custody gave its report to the state’s attorney a day early, while also revealing that a fourth stop was made by the police van carrying the 25-year-old.

The findings, however, won’t be publicly released immediately. What is known so far is that Gray was arrested on April 12 near a West Baltimore housing project and died from a severe spinal injury a week later. On Monday, protests erupted throughout the city, forcing Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to request a state of emergency, allowing thousands of National Guard troops to enter the city to keep the peace.

But the city is likely to remain on edge until the facts of Gray’s injury are made clear. Marilyn J. Mosby, state’s attorney for Baltimore, cautioned the public Thursday to be patient while the investigation is ongoing. “We ask for the public to remain patient and peaceful and to trust the process of the justice system,” she said.

In the meantime, various theories have emerged in the media and among Baltimore residents. Here are four of them:

Gray injured himself

On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that a fellow prisoner who was inside the transport van said Gray was “intentionally trying to injure himself” and he could hear Gray “banging against the walls.” The Post cites a police document obtained by the newspaper.

But that account has already been disputed. Local reporter Jayne Miller of WBAL-TV told MSNBC that “the medical evidence does not suggest at all that he was able to injure himself.”

“You can’t bang your head against the van, to injure yourself in a fatal way, without having a bloodier head,” she told MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “There is just no information that would corroborate that.”

Gray was given a “rough ride”

Those who believe Gray was injured while being transported point to a history of so-called “rough rides” by Baltimore police.

Rough rides are unsanctioned techniques that have apparently been used to injure prisoners, according to a variety of lawsuits. Since 2004, two residents — Dondi Johnson and Jeffrey Alston — have been awarded millions of dollars after being paralyzed from a police van ride.

The Baltimore Sun recently reported on Christine Abbott, who is suing the city after a ride which police were “braking really short so that I would slam against the wall, and they were taking really wide, fast turns,” she told the Sun. “I couldn’t brace myself. I was terrified.”

Police have stated that Gray was not buckled in during the ride.

Police injured Gray before he was put in the van

The official Baltimore police report said Gray was detained without the use of force, but new reports suggest that he was injured during the arrest itself.

CNN reports that a relative of one of the officers said that the unnamed officer believes Gray while he was being detained. “He believes that Freddie Gray was injured outside the paddy wagon,” the relative, who also remained anonymous, told CNN.

Video showing Gray being dragged to the police while screaming and appearing limp also suggests some kind of injury during his arrest, though it’s far from clear how serious. Kevin Moore, a bystander who caught part of the incident on video, told the Baltimore Sun that police placed their heels in Gray’s back and “folded him up like a crab.” He said one officer put his knee in Gray’s neck and that Gray was complaining that he couldn’t breathe.

Gray was somehow injured during the van’s four stops

Police had said previously that the van made three stops with Gray inside — and revealed a fourth had been made on Thursday. At the first stop, he was placed in leg irons, according to police. A second stop was made “to deal with Mr. Gray.” A third stop was made to add a second prisoner, during which Gray was found on the floor of the van and was asking for medical assistance, one officer said. What happened during the fourth stop that police revealed on Thursday is, like the circumstances of Gray’s injury, a mystery.

TIME Behind the Photos

Go Behind TIME’s Baltimore Cover With Aspiring Photographer Devin Allen

Devin Allen, who shot this week's TIME cover, is a Baltimore resident

A few days ago, Devin Allen, a 26-year-old West Baltimore resident, only aspired to be a professional photographer. For the past two years, he had been photographing models and had tried his hand at street photography, drawing his inspiration from photographers such as Gordon Parks and artists like Andy Warhol.

But, when protests took over his city in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death, the young amateur photographer took to Instagram and found himself propelled on the global stage.

His photographs of the demonstrations — peaceful at first, then more violent — grabbed the headlines: they were featured on the BBC and CNN, and shared by thousands of Twitter and Instagram users, including Rihanna.

America 1968 Baltimore Riots 2015 Time Magazine Cover
Photograph by Devin Allen

Now, one of his most iconic images, shot at the heart of the protests on April 25, is featured on this week’s cover of TIME.

The photograph shows a man running away from a pack of charging policemen. “When I shot that, I thought it was a good picture, so I uploaded [from my camera] to my phone,” he told TIME LightBox earlier this week. “By the time I’d done that, the police was all around me. I was in the middle of it.”

The shot perfectly captures the intensity and chaotic nature of the protests, making it the natural choice for TIME’s cover.

“For me, who’s from Baltimore city, to be on the cover of TIME Magazine, I don’t even know what to say. I’m speechless,” says Allen. “It’s amazing. It’s life changing for me. It’s inspiring me to go further. It gives me hope and it gives a lot of people around me hope. After my daughter, who’s my pride and joy, this is the best thing that’s happened to me.”

Read our full interview with Devin Allen: Meet the Amateur Photographer Covering Baltimore’s Protests

Paul Moakley, TIME’s deputy director of photography and visual enterprise, edited this photo essay. Additional editing by Marisa Schwartz-Taylor.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME brazil

Over 150 Injured in Teacher-Police Clashes in Brazil

The city's mayor called the scene a "war without precedent"

(RIO DE JANEIRO) — Police unleashed waves of rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades on striking teachers in a southern Brazilian city Wednesday, leaving over 150 people injured.

The police said their action was ignited after a few of the protesters attempted to gain access to a state congressional building where legislators voted to make cuts to teachers’ pension plans, but the authorities’ action was widely criticized as heavy handed.

Live television images showed police firing the non-lethal weapons into tightly packed clusters of striking teachers after some protesters tried to break through police lines around the Parana state congressional building. Water cannons were also used to knock demonstrators back.

A statement on the Curitiba municipal government’s website said at least 150 people were treated for injuries suffered in the melee. The state security secretariat said about 20 police officers were hurt. It was not yet clear how severe any of the injuries were in the action, which appeared to end by nightfall.

Curitiba mayor Gustavo Fruet called the scene a “war without precedent” in the city and labeled it a “tragedy foretold” that he blamed on the security forces, who are under the responsibility of the state government.

The statement on the municipal government’s website said the city’s unarmed municipal guard security officers had formed what was described as a security corridor that allowed the injured striking teachers to reach the city hall building to receive first aid.

The Parana state government, which controls the security forces that clashed with the teachers, said in a statement on its website that it “deeply regrets the acts of confrontation, aggression and vandalism caused this afternoon by protesters” not associated with the striking teachers.

It said masked protesters used stones, fireworks, sticks and iron rods to try to break through the police lines to invade the state congressional building and that they’re “directly responsible for the confrontation.”

The statement added that seven people had been arrested for attacking policemen.

TIME Behind the Photos

Meet the Amateur Photographer Covering Baltimore’s Protests

Devin Allen's photos, shared on Instagram, have gone viral

Devin Allen, a 26-year-old amateur photographer with aspirations to make a career out of his work, has become a viral sensation. This week, his images of protests in Baltimore have amassed thousands of likes and have been shared by international media organizations around the world.

Read how Allen’s photographs ended up on the cover of TIME.

Allen grew up in West Baltimore, just five minutes away from where Freddie Gray’s encounter with the police left him with a fatal spinal injury. The police have denied using force against the 25-year-old, but one of the family’s attorneys said Gray’s spine was 80% “severed at the neck.”

“When I first saw the news of what happened to [Freddie Gray], I knew I was going to cover it,” says Allen, who usually shares his street photography on Instagram. “But I never thought it would get this big. My city kind of has a bad rap, but I thought if we can come together peacefully, it [would] be epic for this city, and it was my goal to capture that.”

The protests, which were peaceful for most of the weekend, devolved into scenes of rioting, arson and looting after Gray’s funeral, leaving more than a dozen police officers injured and prompting the declaration of a state of emergency as reinforcements arrived to restore order.

The Great Divide ::: #blacklivesmatter #Baltimore #ripfreddiegray :::: #DVNLLN

A photo posted by Devin Allen ◼️◾️▪️ (@bydvnlln) on

“[It’s] not been a surprise,” says Allen. “I know my city. With all the frustration with the city, the mayor, the economy, the pot has been boiling.” But that has not changed Allen’s resolve to show exactly what’s been happening in his streets. “I went in thinking I would show the good, the bad and the ugly,” he says. “Of course, since I’m a black man, I understand the frustration, but at the same time, I’m a photographer. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m going to tell you exactly what happened. That was the goal.”

My people are tired and are fighting back in a rage :::: #Baltimore #ripfreddiegray #blacklivesmatter #prayforbaltimore :::: #DVNLLN

A photo posted by Devin Allen ◼️◾️▪️ (@bydvnlln) on

His images, which capture the intensity of the protests, have gone viral. On April 27, Rihanna shared one of them to her 17.7 million followers on Instagram. “I’m still in awe of it all,” says the photographer who first picked a camera in 2013 and has drawn inspiration from the work of photographers like Gordon Parks and artists like Andy Warhol.

The most widely shared of his photographs of the protests shows a man running away from a pack of charging policemen. “When I shot that, I thought it was a good picture, so I uploaded [from my camera] to my phone,” he says. “By the time I’d done that, the police was all around me. I was in the middle of it.”

We are sick & tired ::: #Baltimore #ripfreddiegray | #DVNLLN

A photo posted by Devin Allen ◼️◾️▪️ (@bydvnlln) on

And it took several hours for Allen to realize the photograph had gone viral. “I was still shooting, still snapping till the sun went down,” he says.

Today, Allen will be covering the aftermath of last night’s violent protests. “When you called me, I was getting my stuff ready,” he says. “I’m going to try to make it into town and catch what’s happening.”

TIME Crime

Missouri National Guard Called Ferguson Protesters ‘Enemy Forces’

Police and Missouri National Guard attempt to control demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 18, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.
Scott Olson—Getty Images Police and Missouri National Guard attempt to control demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 18, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.

Internal documents bolster claims of military-style approach

The Missouri National Guard referred to protesters in Ferguson last summer as “enemy forces,” according to documents obtained by CNN, bolstering claims the police adopted military tactics to react to protests over the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

In August, the state’s National Guard was called into aid local police agencies who were attempting to control demonstrators protesting the death of Brown, a black unarmed teenager, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.

The protests began as a demonstration against police use of force. But the response by law enforcement agencies, which mobilized armored vehicles and utilized tear gas and M4 rifles, spurred a national conversation over the militarization of police and prompted Congress to hold hearings over the flow of military gear to local police agencies.

The documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request appears to support those who claim authorities used a excessively military-style approach in its response.

“It’s disturbing when you have what amounts to American soldiers viewing American citizens somehow as the enemy,” Antonio French, a prominent alderman in St. Louis, told the network.

[CNN]

TIME Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolutionaries Are Slowly Coming Back to the Streets

A poster of an umbrella with the words "We'll be back" written underneath is pictured on a wall at the main "Occupy" protest site at Admiralty in Hong Kong
Bobby Yip—Reuters A poster of an umbrella with the words "We'll Be Back" written underneath is pictured on a wall at the main Occupy protest site at Admiralty in Hong Kong on Dec. 11, 2014

A small pro-democracy encampment has started to take shape ahead of a crucial vote on electoral reform

It has been 200 days since tens of thousands of Hong Kongers flooded the city’s streets demanding the right to freely elect their own leader, and 126 days since the police unceremoniously cleared the tent-filled villages after almost three months of occupation.

The movement for democracy has largely been relegated to online forums and abstract discussions, but that isn’t the only place it resides. The handful of tents that remained in front of the Central Government Offices even after the Dec. 16 clearance has steadily grown over the past three months. Currently, 146 fabric shelters line the sidewalks of Tim Mei Avenue, where the use of pepper spray and arrest of student protesters on Sept. 27 was the spark that set the movement ablaze. Some have spilled over onto the sidewalks of Harcourt Road, which the protesters knew as Umbrella Square. Some of the most endearing elements of the camp, like an organic garden and a study corner, have been re-created.

And while the fervor of lore has been replaced with a quiet resignation, the protesters that continue to call the foreground of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Complex home are determined to make their voices — however small — be heard. “The government right now is doing many shameful things, and we want to let all the Hong Kong people know that we are still here, we will not back off,” says Thomas Hung, 57, a businessman living in the camp.

Hong Kong has been governed under the “one country, two systems” principle since it was handed back to China by the U.K. in 1997, meaning that its citizens enjoy rights like a more open economy and greater freedom of speech than their mainland counterparts. But Beijing’s refusal to allow residents full control over electing the city’s top political post of chief executive by 2017 has caused a resentment that continues to simmer long after the clearance of the streets.

Hung says he and his fellow residents want to “keep the pressure” on the government and ensure the controversial reform handed down last August — effectively allowing the Chinese Communist Party to screen candidates for chief executive — is not passed. (Protesters see this caveat as reneging on an earlier promise; Beijing retorts that this freewheeling metropolis of 7 million already enjoys significant autonomy and lacks patriotism.)

The protesters’ target, says Hung, are the 27 pro-democracy members of the city’s parliamentary body, the Legislative Council, who support the street sit-ins and have vowed to oppose the government’s effort to deny its citizens full voting rights.

“Under that sort of restriction, any election method being created will not be acceptable because it will not give the voters a genuine choice,” Emily Lau, a lawmaker from the Democratic Party and a prominent voice in the opposition, tells TIME. “This time Beijing actually said there should be universal suffrage, and if they propose something that is not and we support it, that means we are aiding and abetting. We can’t do that.”

Nevertheless, pro-government legislator Regina Ip, who represents the New People’s Party, says she is “cautiously optimistic” that the resolution — expected to be put forth within a matter of days — will pass, especially after certain moderate legislators from the democratic camp have advocated an acceptance of the reform as the lesser of two evils. “If the motion doesn’t go through I think many people will be disappointed,” Ip says, adding that “a great majority of the public will want a chance to vote albeit under a limited nomination model.”

Lau insists that the dissenting lawmakers within her party are a minority, although she admitted that she cannot speak for other parties in the pan-democratic camp.

The protesters and pro-democracy lawmakers alike are opposed to the reform even though the only alternative being presented by the government is to retain the current political system, in which a largely unrepresentative 1,200-member election committee would choose the city’s chief executive. It also represents the strong possibility of the city’s extremely unpopular chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, could return for a second five-year term.

Leung also expressed his faith in Hong Kong’s desire to implement political reform and said on Tuesday that he was “confident” that the proposal would be passed in the legislature and supported by the people, according to the South China Morning Post.

“The government is almost using it as a threat,” said Michael Davis, a political commentator and law professor at the University of Hong Kong, of the prospect of Leung’s re-election. “It’s a very interesting way to declare your campaign.”

Underlying these tensions is a distinct chauvinism among Hong Kongers regarding mainland China and its people, which manifested itself in the so-called shopping protests in February and March. The protests involved hundreds of locals gathering at shopping malls near Hong Kong–China border areas, heckling and sometimes physically abusing visitors from the mainland whom they perceived as parallel traders — individuals who come in as tourists and buy essential supplies like baby formula and diapers in bulk to resell in China. The protests were condemned last week by Leung for allegedly causing a sudden dip in mainland-visitor numbers over the usually busy Easter break. According to local media, the chief executive said the protests had “seriously tarnished” Hong Kong’s image as a tourist destination, although he admitted that the government needs to formulate policies to limit parallel trading. Concrete steps to achieve that goal were instated on Monday, with the Chinese government announcing that citizens of neighboring Shenzhen would be forbidden from visiting Hong Kong more than once a week.

“When it comes to political development, [the government] made no effort to respond to the protesters. In this area [of shopping protesters], we do see more efforts to respond,” said Davis. “They may be feeling the heat on this more than they did over democratic development.”

The struggle for democracy, on the other hand, remains trickier to address. The protesters at the camp insist they have no plans to reignite the mass sit-ins. “We have no plan to do Occupy again because it didn’t work,” says Anthony Kwok, a 50-year-old branding professional who helps manage the camp’s well-stocked library. He adds that it is more important for citizens to be educated about what’s at stake so they can use their vote more effectively.

“If the government wants to clear this area it can easily do so, right now the maximum strength is about a hundred people,” Hung says.

But the potential for those hundreds to grow to thousands always exists, depending on what the government does next.

“I think there are a lot of incidents that can potentially trigger public dissatisfaction, and that will become an opportunity for the public to regalvanize,” says Eliza Lee, head of the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. “The sentiments [of the Occupy protesters] were very strong, and I can’t imagine that kind of strong sentiment has extinguished altogether,” Lee adds. “Some kind of large-scale confrontation or contention between the society and the government is very likely to happen within this year.”

TIME Indiana

Indiana’s ‘No Gay Wedding’ Pizzeria Has Closed

"We’re in hiding basically," says co-owner Crystal O’Connor

An Indiana pizzeria remained closed on Wednesday, embroiled in a national debate after its owners said they would not cater gay weddings because of their religious beliefs.

“I don’t know if we will reopen, or if we can, if it’s safe to reopen,” co-owner Crystal O’Connor told TheBlaze TV. “We’re in hiding basically, staying in the house.”

The Walkerton, Ind., pizza parlor is the first business since Indiana passed the highly controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act to publicly cite religious beliefs as justification to refuse a service to the LGBT community.

The owners said they would serve anybody who came into the restaurant regardless of sexual orientation, but drew the line at weddings. “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no. We are a Christian establishment,” O’Connor told local news outlet WBND-TV Tuesday evening.

The comments sparked social-media uproar, and the company’s Yelp page has been flooded with angry comments. Someone went so far as to buy the domain name www.memoriespizza.com to post a message against discrimination.

At the same time, people who support the owners’ stance have started a GoFundMe campaign aiming to “relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith.” The campaign has raised nearly $50,000 so far.

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a law prohibiting the government from infringing on the religious beliefs of a business, organization or person. Critics of the bill say it can be used to justify discrimination against the LGBT community.

TIME Burma

Seventy Burmese Students, Activists Charged for Taking Part in ‘Illegal’ Rally

Burmese activist on March 21, 2015, at the bank of Innya Lake in Yangon, Burma.
Khin Maung Win—AP Burmese activist on March 21, 2015, at the bank of Innya Lake in Rangoon, Burma

They face up to six years in prison for protesting an education bill they saw as regressive

Dozens of protesting Burmese activists and students are facing jail time on charges of insulting civil servants and refusing to disperse at an illicit demonstration.

The 70 protesters face up to six years in jail after violence broke out during a march from Mandalay to Rangoon calling for educational reforms, reports the BBC.

Although it was technically illegal, authorities had let the rally pass until they reached the town of Letpadan. There, incensed by the presence of a police line, the group attempted to break through.

Scores of students were injured in the ensuing confrontation. In one photo, four police prepare to strike an unarmed, prone man with their batons.

The quasi-civilian government of Burma, officially now known as Myanmar, insists it is legitimately prosecuting participants in the mid-March protests. However, critics see the case as proof of the Southeast Asian nation’s lingering authoritarianism despite the much-lauded transition from junta rule.

“People’s expectations are high because we’re a country in transition, but you can’t fulfill everything in one term,” said Burmese President Thein Sein told the BBC.

More charges relating to the protests are expected in coming weeks.

[BBC]

TIME Egypt

An Egyptian Activist Shot by Police Died Because She Was ‘Very Thin,’ Official Claims

Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was killed by police in January

A spokesman for Egypt’s Medical Forensics Authority claimed in a broadcast Saturday that an activist shot by police in January near Cairo’s Tahrir Square succumbed to her injuries because she was underweight.

Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, 31, died from close-range bird-shot pellets in a senseless killing that shocked the world after photographs of her death appeared in international media. A police officer is to face manslaughter charges for her death, reports the New York Times.

According to the Times, medical official Hisham Abdel Hamid said, “She was very thin. She did not have any percentage of fat. So the small pellets penetrated very easily, and four or five out of all the pellets that penetrated her body — these four or five pellets were able to penetrate her heart and lungs, and these are the ones that caused her death.”

MORE: Egyptian Activist Shot and Killed During Peaceful Protest in Cairo

Hamid argued that a man marching next to al-Sabbagh, who was also struck by police fire, survived the shots because he had more body fat.

The theory has elicited skepticism from activist groups. “These sorts of ridiculous claims just add a thick layer of absurdity to the government’s endless record of killings and impunity,” said Human Rights Watch’s Sarah Leah Whitson.

[NYT]

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