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Item 4 Interactive Dialogue with United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

We welcome the report of the Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in Burundi and share its assessment that despite some initial promises made by President Évariste Ndayishimiye, the structural reforms needed to address the dire rights…
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

UN Rights Body Should Ensure International Investigations Continue

(Nairobi) – Grave human rights violations have persisted in a context of insecurity in the 15 months since Évariste Ndayishimiye became president of Burundi, Human Rights Watch said. Until Burundian authorities address the root causes of the 2015…
Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye at his swearing-in ceremony in Gitega, Burundi, on June 18, 2020.
News

Joint Letter To Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland

Excellencies, At the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council (the Coun­cil) in October 2020, the Council rene­wed the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Burundi for a further year. This allow­ed the only independent mechanism mandated to…
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

Ex-Member of Civil Society Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

(Nairobi, August 10, 2021) – Burundian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release lawyer, Tony Germain Nkina, who was sentenced to five years in prison in June 2021 in all likelihood because of his past human rights work, six…
News

Open Letter

Dear EU High Representative/Vice-President, Dear Foreign Ministers of the EU member states, As the Council of the European Union (EU) and its preparatory bodies review the situation in Burundi and related EU policy, the undersigned organizations wish…
The charred remains of Radio Publique Africaine in Bujumbura, Burundi, which was attacked and vandalized in May 2015 following an attempted coup.
News

President Évariste Ndayishimiye Has Yet to Deliver Change

One year after Évariste Ndayishimiye was inaugurated as Burundi’s new president, following the sudden death of his long-term predecessor, many of the ex-general’s promises to hold people to account for violence and killings and to improve the country…
Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye, right, attends the inauguration of the new Kisumu port with an oil loading jetty at Lake Victoria in Kisumu, Kenya, on May 31, 2021.
News

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

Drop Baseless Charges; Investigate Intelligence Service

(Nairobi) – Burundian authorities should drop baseless charges and release eight former Burundian refugees who were forcibly returned from Tanzania in August 2020. On February 26, 2021, the Muha High Court in Bujumbura ruled against their provisional…
Sign outside the Muha High Court in Bujumbura, Burundi.
News

Security Council Scrutiny Vital to Justice, Reform

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council should continue to monitor the worrying human rights situation in Burundi with a particular focus on ongoing violations and accountability, Human Rights Watch said today. Security incidents and reports…
File photo showing a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
News
Évariste Ndayishimiye’s first foreign visit as the president of Burundi was nothing if not symbolic. He chose Kigoma, a town in northwestern Tanzania near which about 154,000 Burundian nationals continue to seek protection from the previous…
Nduta camp in Tanzania currently houses 70,109 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers.
News

Halt Forced Returns; Investigate Police, Intelligence Services

(Nairobi) – Tanzanian authorities have gravely abused at least 18 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers since late 2019. The whereabouts of several who were forcibly disappeared remain unknown, and additional Burundians may have suffered similar abuse.…
Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye (left) and Tanzanian President John Magufuli meet in Kigoma, in northwestern Tanzania, on September 19, 2020. It was Ndayishimiye’s first foreign visit since his election in May 2020.
News

11 Asia-Pacific Governments Oppose 120 States on Capital Punishment Moratorium

(Bangkok) – Eleven countries from the Asia-Pacific region were among the small minority that voted against a United Nations resolution opposing the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 17, 120 UN member states voted in favor of a…
A view of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, October 1, 2018.
News

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

Item 4 Interactive Dialogue with Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

Human Rights Watch thanks the Commission of Inquiry for a much-needed update on the grave human rights violations that Burundian state agents, most notably the National Intelligence Service and administrative authorities, and members of the…
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

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

Joint Letter to the Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council

Excellencies, Ahead of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council (hereafter “HRC” or “the Coun­cil”), we, the undersigned national, regional and international civil society organisations, write to urge your delegation to support the renewal of…
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

President Ndayishimiye Changes Tack on Covid-19

(Nairobi) – Burundi’s new president, Évariste Ndayishimiye, should make protecting and promoting human rights a priority during his presidency, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the president made public today. The new…
President Évariste Ndayishimiye’s inauguration ceremony in Gitega, Burundi, on June 18, 2020. Ndayishimiye took power two months early after the abrupt death of his predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza.