• Restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly increased, with elections scheduled for 2015. The government persistently harassed and blocked the activities of members of opposition parties, civil society activists, and journalists. In May, a leading human rights activist, 66-year-old Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, was arrested and charged with endangering state security and using false documents. Court judges rejected requests for his provisional release, even after he became seriously ill. On September 29, 2014, a court in Burundi granted him provisional release on medical grounds. In March, 70 people, the majority members of the opposition party Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) were tried in a blatantly unfair trial; 21 were sentenced to life imprisonment. The justice system 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. 

  • A sign welcoming visitors to Murwi, a commune in Burundi’s northwestern province of Cibitoke. Burundian military and police summarily executed at least 47 members of an armed group who had surrendered in Murwi and Bukinanyana communes between December 30, 2014, and January 3, 2015.
    The Burundian National Defense Force and police committed at least 47 extrajudicial executions between December 30, 2014, and January 3, 2015, following a clash with an armed group in the northwestern province of Cibitoke. Armed members of the ruling party’s youth league also participated in the killings.