• 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.

  • Followers of Eusébie Ngendakumana, watched over by the police, listen to the Burundian Interior Minister’s speech at Kigarama, near Businde, Kayanza province, on March 12, 2013.

    The Burundian government committed to strengthening human rights protections and made progress in certain areas, such as initiatives to address gender-based violence. A five-day national debate on the justice sector produced a set of recommendations on judicial reforms. However, the justice system remained weak and under-resourced and suffered from political interference and allegations of corruption.

Reports

Burundi

  • Apr 17, 2014
  • Mar 28, 2014
  • Nov 10, 2013
    Somali authorities should order a new, impartial, and transparent investigation into an alleged gang-rape by African Union (AU) soldiers. The case has been marred by mismanagement, opacity, and the harassment of the female rape survivor and support service providers.
  • Jul 26, 2013
    The survivors of a brutal police assault on a religious group in northern Burundi that caused nine deaths are still waiting for justice four months later. The police commander who ordered the assault, who was arrested but has been released from custody, should not escape justice for his role in the incident.
  • Jun 6, 2013
    Human Rights Watch deeply regrets that Burundi rejected all recommendations to fight impunity for extra-judicial killings. HRW remains particularly concerned at the lack of progress in bringing to justice perpetrators of extrajudicial killings and other acts of political violence since 2010.
  • Jun 3, 2013

    The decision by the National Communication Council to suspend the readers’ forum of the Burundian newspaper Iwacu infringes on the right to freedom of expression. The government should lift the suspension and allow the newspaper to resume publication of its readers’ comments page.

  • Apr 25, 2013

    Letter to President Pierre Nkurunziza

    Human Rights Watch urges President Pierre Nkurunziza not to sign the new media law adopted by the Senate on April 19, 2013, and to prevent it from being enacted in its current form. Human Rights Watch urges him instead to send it back to Parliament for amendment and ensure that the final version restores media freedoms, in line with Burundi’s national and international commitments.

  • Apr 12, 2013

    The adoption of a new media law by Burundi’s National Assembly on April 3, 2013, is an attempt to curtail free speech and independent journalism. The Senate and president should reject this version of the draft law, which would undermine Burundians’ hard-won struggle for fundamental freedoms.

  • Dec 30, 2012
  • Oct 26, 2012

    The conference in Geneva on October 29-30, 2012, bringing together the Burundian government, foreign governments, development partners, civil society organizations and other interlocutors, is an opportunity for the Burundian government and donors alike to prioritize human rights reforms and make concrete commitments to the protection of human rights.