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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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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
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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.
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The Nicaraguan government appears to have engaged in serious abuses against protesters and arbitrarily shut down media outlets covering the recent protests. Organization of American States (OAS) member countries should urge President Daniel Ortega’s…
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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…
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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…
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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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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…
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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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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…
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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…
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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…
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Little Progress on Human Rights after Six Months of Lobo Government

(Washington DC) - Six months after President Porfirio Lobo took office, Honduras has made little progress toward addressing the serious human rights abuses since the 2009 coup, Human Rights Watch said today. Threats and attacks against journalists and the…
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(Washington, DC) - The restoration of constitutional order in Honduras should be accompanied by the immediate repeal of repressive decrees issued by the de facto government, and a full investigation of abuses committed in the aftermath of the coup, Human…
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Emergency Decree Prohibits Criticism of De Facto Government

(New York) - Honduras's de facto government should immediately rescind an emergency decree that severely restricts press freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. Honduran security forces seized the offices of Radio Globo and Cholusat Sur television early…
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Secretary General José Miguel Insulza Organization of American States 17th Street & Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006 Dear Secretary General: I am writing to share with you our concerns regarding credible reports that we have…