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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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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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Both Sides Should Abide by Laws of War

Update: On May 3, 2021, Tajik authorities reported that 14 houses were fully destroyed, 4 buildings including a secondary school were damaged, and 15,000 people were evacuated from the three districts of Isfara, in Tajikistan’s Sughd region,…
Cars damaged during a firefight on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border are seen near the settlement of Koi-Tash, Batken region, Kyrgyzstan, April 30, 2021.
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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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80-Year-Old Jailed for 7 Years for Helping Families of Political Prisoners

Doniyor Nabiev was just trying to help people in need. The 80-year-old man from the Rudaki region of Tajikistan had been sharing his retirement savings with the local families of political prisoners. Over several years he had passed on between $15-$30…
Doniyor Nabiev (file photo).
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Uphold, Reaffirm Human Rights Protections

(Berlin) – Government responses to the acute human rights challenges posed by Covid-19 across Central Asia negatively affected right to health, media freedoms, and access to justice, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Uzbek students take open-air entrance exams in Tashkent on September 2, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic.
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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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Increasing Pressure on Families of Exiled Activists

(Berlin) – Tajik authorities in late November 2020 summoned, interrogated, and threatened family members of Fatkhuddin Saidmukhidinov, a Tajik activist in exile, apparently to force him to cease his online criticism of the government, Human Rights…
Fatkhuddin Saidmukhidinov
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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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Rights, Rule of Law Key in Response to Region’s Crises

(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should set consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response to political turmoil, such as in Kyrgyzstan, or to challenges…
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
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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.
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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.