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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

Prime Minister Suga Should Use Favorable Position to Advocate Reforms

(Tokyo) – Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, should press the governments of Vietnam and Indonesia to improve their deteriorating human rights records during his visit to the two countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Suga will visit…
Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
News

Trip Covers Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar

(Tokyo) – Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi should forcefully raise human rights concerns on an upcoming regional trip, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the foreign minister. Motegi will visit Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos,…
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi meets the media in Tokyo on May 28, 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

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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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

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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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…
News
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…
News
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…
News
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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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…
News

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…
News

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…
News

Attacks and Threats Remain a Very Serious Concern

Honduran authorities should take concrete steps to end impunity for abuses committed after the country's 2009 coup, and to curb ongoing attacks against journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Report
Closing Doors? The Narrowing of Democratic Space in Burundi Map of Burundi Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Timeline of Key Political and Human Rights Events during the Election Period: May to…