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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.
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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.
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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…
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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.
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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.
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Examples of In-Person Education in Pandemic Offer Lessons for All

(Bolzano) – The measures some schools in Italy took to ensure access to quality education for students with disabilities during Covid-19-related school closures should inspire other schools to follow suit, Human Rights Watch said today. The steps…
Teacher supports three students sitting in an otherwise empty classroom, all wearing face masks.
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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.
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Flout Child Protection, Immigration Rules

(Paris) – French police summarily expel dozens of unaccompanied children to Italy each month in violation of French and international law, Human Rights Watch said today. To enable the returns, the police frequently record on official documents…
A member of the French border police checks identity documents in March 2021 at the Menton-Garavan station, the first French train station for those travelling between Genoa, in Italy, and Nice, in France.
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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.
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“Baby S” Runs Risk of Being Stateless

A child born to Bulgarian and British mothers has been denied Bulgarian citizenship and is now at risk of being stateless. “Baby S” was born in December 2019 in Spain and although the baby’s birth certificate was issued by Spain with both mothers…
201911US_lgbt_rights
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Opportunity to Learn Lessons for Future

(Milan) – An Italian program to provide undocumented migrants with a pathway to residency adopted amid the Covid-19 pandemic did not live up to its promise, Human Rights Watch said today. It is too early to know how many people will ultimately…
An immigrant worker picks clementines in Corgiliano-Rossano, Calabria, southern Italy, December 12, 2020. ©
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EU, International Pressure Necessary to Break Cycle of Impunity

After nearly five years of investigations, Italian prosecutors announced yesterday they have collected sufficient evidence to charge four Egyptian security officials, including senior officers from Egypt’s abusive National Security Agency for the 2016…
Giulio Regeni
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Parliamentary Committee Should Endorse Key Amendments

(Milan) – The Italian parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee should endorse certain key amendments to draft immigration legislation, Human Rights Watch said today. The amendments would abolish sanctions on rescue ships, reject the concept of “…
Men aboard the Sea-Watch 4, a nongovernmental rescue ship, rejoice on September 1, 2020, as they learn that they have permission to disembark in Palermo, Sicily, the next day.