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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

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

Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
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

Rights Champion Wrote Definitive Account of Rwandan Genocide

Ten years ago today, our beloved colleague Alison Des Forges died in the crash of Flight 3407 traveling from Newark to her home in Buffalo. Alison had recently been in Uganda to meet with her research team that, to my great fortune,…
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."
News

2-Year Bloody Crackdown on Political Opposition

(Nairobi, November 9, 2017) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) judges’ decision announced today to open an investigation in Burundi gives victims hope that those responsible for grave crimes over the past two years could be held to account, Human…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
News

Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex. The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
News
The withdrawals by South Africa and Burundi from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) pose a real challenge to the evolving system of international justice centered on the ICC. Coming after escalating criticism…
A picture of the ICC logo on a glass wall.
News
November 14, 2016 To the Presidents of African States Parties to the International Criminal Court, We write to commend your government for its membership and support for the International Criminal Court, and to encourage your…
News

Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
News

Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
News

Members Should Reaffirm Support for International Court

(Johannesburg) – South Africa’s announced withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty represents an enormous blow to its commitment to justice for atrocity crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. ICC members…
The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
News

Government Approves Withdrawal from International Criminal Court

The vote by Burundi’s National Assembly and Senate approving withdrawal from the International Criminal Court is the latest move by a government intent on shielding its poor human rights record from international scrutiny. …
On October 13, 2015, police shot dead Christophe Nkezabahizi, his wife, nephew, and his two teenage children in Bujumbura. No one has been held accountable for their deaths.
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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…