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End Abusive Prosecutions; Lift Restrictions on Free Speech

(Nairobi) – Burundi’s scrutiny and control of media and nongovernmental organizations, and the conviction after deeply flawed proceedings of 12 journalists and activists in exile have a continued chilling effect on their work, Human Rights Watch said…
Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye at his inauguration on June 18, 2020. President Ndayishimiye took power two months early after the abrupt death of his predecessor, Pierre Nkurunziza.
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

Baseless Charges Should Be Dropped Immediately

Today, a judge in Mozambique’s Pemba city court ruled that journalists Amade Abubacar and Germano Daniel Adriano be released on bail, three months after their arrest on groundless accusations. This was a bright moment in an otherwise troubling case in…
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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

Police Should Investigate and Protect All Citizens, Including Critics

A Mozambican journalist received phone texts and calls from unidentified people threatening to kill him if he continues to write articles criticizing the government. Serôdio Towo, editor of the weekly newspaper Dossiers …
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News

Debate Silenced at Critical Moment

The Burundian government desperately wants an overwhelming win in next month’s constitutional referendum that will enable the president to extend his term in office. To do this, it must present the image of unity in the country – and open debate and…
Logo for Iwacu newspaper, "The voices of Burundi."
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Juba Monitor Editor Arrested Over Editorials

On July 16, South Sudanese national security agents arrested Alfred Taban, editor in chief of the Juba Monitor, for two editorials calling for removal of President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar, respectively, in the wake of renewed…
Alfred Taban
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South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) shut down two newspapers and locked up the offices of a radio station this week, dealing a sharp new blow to freedom of expression as the country sinks further into a horrifically abusive conflict. …
south sudan newspapers
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Burundian police have used excessive force against people protesting President Pierre Nkurunziza’s election bid for a third term. Police have shot at crowds indiscriminately and severely beaten demonstrators and detainees. Dozens of people have been…
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A coup attempt and heavy fighting in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, are making headlines around the world, but many Burundians are still in the dark about what happened.  Some would like to keep it that way.   Yesterday, less than 24 hours after a group of…
News
Over the last couple of weeks I have visited my friend, Bob Rugurika, in prison three times. When I first saw him on January 21 in Bujumbura’s Mpimba prison, he gave me a big hug and joked, “It’s not safe to be visiting a murderer!” A young journalist and…
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Bob Rugurika, known throughout Burundi as Bob, is a promising young journalist. He is the director of the popular Radio Publique Africaine (RPA) radio station and is well known for his investigative journalism and easy interactive style. He…
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Published in French in Le Monde on January 28, 2015. Bob Rugurika has been in prison since January 20. His name may not mean much to readers outside Burundi. Yet he is an excellent journalist who has honored his profession as director of the most popular…
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Delivered Under Item 2, Interactive Dialogue of HRC 25

We thank the High Commissioner for her statement. We share her concerns today on arbitrary detention, unfair trial and restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Egypt. The situation has grown increasingly dire over the past eight…
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HRC 23 - Statement Delivered Under Item 10

Human Rights Watch welcomes the conclusions of reports of the High Commissioner for Human Rights presented to the Human Rights Council at its 21st and 23rd session and shares her view that in the area of human rights, actual implementation remains…
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Statement Delivered Under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Burundi, which includes important recommendations on the protection of civil and political as well as social, economic and cultural rights.  The Burundian government has…
News

Government Should Allow Publication of Comments, Debate

(Nairobi) – 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…
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Pass Laws to Protect, Promote Media Freedom

(Juba) – Security force harassment and unlawful detention of journalists is undermining freedom of expression in South Sudan, the Agency for Independent Media (AIM), Amnesty International, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Human Rights Watch…
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Letter to President Pierre Nkurunziza

His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza President of the Republic of Burundi Office of the President Bujumbura Burundi                                                                                              April 25, 2013 Your Excellency, Re: Concerns…
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Senate Should Ensure Final Version Restores Media Freedom

(New York) – 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…