ARC and HIJRA giving hope and justice to refugee detainees

Nkubimana Celestine, 34, a refugee from Burundi has spent 5 years in prison. A year after he had made a long and trying 2 months journey from an unstable Burundi, Celestine was arrested and detained at Mbarara prison. To this day, he has not yet been formally charged for the alleged crime.

Till now, Celestine had not dared to hope for his freedom. Having lost contact with his family after an attack on his house, Celestine’s dreams of ever reuniting with them dwindled as each day passed. “I lost contact with my wife and 3 three children and all my efforts to locate them have failed,” he explained.

In a recent visit to the prison, Celestine beamed after learning that he would be getting his day in court. “I have hope that I will be set free,” he said.

Along with two other refugee detainees, Celestine was selected to benefit from the mobile court organized by American Refugee Committee (ARC). “ARC was generous enough to offer 3 slots in the mobile court session they are organizing”, Doris explained. “The remaining two slots will be filled by the detainees who have been in prison the longest” she added.

On 24th May, Celestine and 39 other refugee detainees from Nakivaale and Oruchinga settlements will have their day in court thanks to an ARC-HIJRA partnership.


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