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Authorities Should End All Abusive Criminal Charges and Detention

Hopes that a new president may reverse a repressive course in Burundi seem increasingly misplaced.  The Burundian judicial authorities’ decision to prosecute a former independent member of parliament – who is known for being an outspoken…
Fabien Banciryanino.
News

20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
News

EU Should Take Action to Ensure Mandate Is Extended

The recent change in Burundi’s leadership has raised hopes among international partners that a somber chapter in the country’s history may finally be coming to an end. There’s optimism that new relationships can be forged with president Évariste…
Doudou Diene, President of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, speaks at a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, September 5, 2018.
News

Ensure Transparency, End Institutional Care

Serbia has taken a positive step to better protect people from Covid-19 by agreeing to release data on the total number of Covid-19 infections and deaths inside social care institutions. People inside institutions are some of the most at-risk during…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News

WHO Experts Expelled, Election Observers Blocked

While most of the world tries to slow the spread and limit the death toll of Covid-19, Burundi is expelling health experts. This week, the government, which refuses to acknowledge the threat the virus presents, resorted to familiar tactics and…
A rally on the first day of the ruling party’s campaign in Bugendana, Burundi, on April 27, 2020.
News

State Regulator Insults Media as Journalists Appeal Conviction

Just when many thought press freedom had hit rock bottom in Burundi, the government-controlled National Communication Council’s (CNC) Media Awards this week have added insult to injury. The theme of this year’s ceremony was to…
journalists in Burundi attend court session
News

Ongoing Crackdown Undermines Credibility of Upcoming Elections, Say MEPs

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution condemning the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi ahead of the May 2020 elections. It also called on authorities to drop charges and immediately and unconditionally release …
From left to right: Térence Mpozenzi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Egide Harerimana, and Adolphe Masabarakiza.
News

Lead Poisoning Victims Await Justice, Compensation

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration at the United Nations. October 24 is United Nations Day, marking the day the UN Charter officially came into effect in 1945. The Charter includes the commitment to protect human rights. But on the…
Houses in Kosovo
News

Family Deserve Full Investigation and Justice

New information received by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi supports what many have long suspected: Marie-Claudette Kwizera, the treasurer of the Burundian group Ligue Iteka, was targeted because of her human rights work and murdered…
Marie-Claudette Kwizera
News

UN Should Step Up Scrutiny of Abuses Ahead of 2020 Elections

Last week, several Security Council members signaled continued concern for the situation in Burundi, highlighting rising political repression linked to the upcoming 2020 elections, restrictions on independent media, and stalled regional…
The seat of Burundi delegation is pictured before a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Burundi in Geneva, Switzerland December 17, 2015.
News

Impunity Hampers Sustainable Peace

This week marks 20 years since the end of the Kosovo war. What began as systematic Serbian state oppression led to attacks by an ethnic Albanian armed group, a vicious government response, and 78 days of NATO airstrikes. …
201906eca_kosovoanniversary_photo0
News

Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
News

UN Committee Finds New Evidence of Violence in Institutions

A recent review of Serbia finds that the government is failing to protect women with disabilities in institutions from violence. In its report, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) also…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News

School Places Politics Above Right to Education

The release of six schoolgirls and one boy, arrested last month for doodling on the Burundian president’s photo and charged with “insulting the head of state”, is not the end of their woes. In a letter dated March 20, the director at the…
President Pierre Nkurunziza stands after being sworn in for a third term. Bujumbura, Burundi, August 20, 2015.
News

Government Bans Communication with BBC, VOA

The Burundian government today signalled a new attack on media freedom, announcing it would renew the Voice of America’s (VOA) suspension and withdraw the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) operating license. These draconian moves…
Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza arrives for celebrations to mark Burundi’s 55th anniversary of independence at the Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura, Burundi, July 1, 2017.
News

Authorities Should Stop Harassing Schoolchildren, Focus on Rights Violations

While the crackdown continues in Burundi against anyone who dares challenge President Pierre Nkurunziza, authorities showed how thin-skinned they really are when arresting seven schoolchildren last week. The children stood accused of…
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza takes part in a ceremony in Bujumbura.
News

Rights Champion Wrote Definitive Account of Rwandan Genocide

Ten years ago today, our beloved colleague Alison Des Forges died in the crash of Flight 3407 traveling from Newark to her home in Buffalo. Alison had recently been in Uganda to meet with her research team that, to my great fortune,…
News

Roma Were Exposed to Toxic Lead in UN-Run Camps

  Yesterday, 55 Members of the European Parliament wrote to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, expressing dismay at the UN’s failure to remedy harm inflicted on ethnic minorities in northern Kosovo following the end of the war…
News

Refusal to Cooperate Makes Mockery of Human Rights Council Resolution

This week, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights was meant to present a report by three UN experts on the situation in Burundi to the UN’s top human rights body. Instead, from the podium, she had to inform the…
The seat of Burundi delegation is pictured before a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Burundi in Geneva, Switzerland December 17, 2015.
News

Government has Failed to Adequately Investigate Disappearance of Jean Bigirimana

More than two years have passed since Jean Bigirimana, a Burundian journalist for the newspaper Iwacu, went missing. The uncertainty surrounding his fate continues to send a chilling message to many in Burundi and highlights the impunity surrounding…
Jean Bigirimana.