• The Burundian government committed to strengthening human rights protections and made progress in certain areas, such as initiatives to address gender-based violence and proposals for judicial reforms. However, the justice system remained weak and under-resourced and suffered from political interference and allegations of corruption. Impunity for human rights abuses, particularly by state agents and youth of the ruling party, was a dominant concern. Most cases of extrajudicial killings and other acts of political violence between 2010 and 2012 remained unresolved. Police shot dead nine religious worshippers and severely beat many others near Businde, Kayanza province, in March 2013. Journalists and civil society activists encountered intimidation by the government, which accused them of siding with the opposition. In June 2013, President Pierre Nkurunziza promulgated a new press law severely curtailing media freedoms.

  • Police outside the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) headquarters in Bujumbura, Burundi, on March 8, 2014.
    Burundian authorities should halt their crackdown on opposition party members. Officials should also quash a March 21, 2014 verdict in which 48 people were handed sentences ranging from two years to life in prison.