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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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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
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
When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Summary Camila Díaz Córdova, a 29-year-old transgender woman, tried for years to escape the violence that had characterized her life in El Salvador. She made her way to the United States in 2017 to seek asylum, but after four months in immigration…
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The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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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

Mounting Intimidation for 163,000 Burundian Refugees and Asylum Seekers

(Nairobi) – The fear of violence, arrest, and deportation is driving many of the 163,000 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in Tanzania out of the country. Tanzanian authorities have also made it very difficult for the United Nations…
Nduta camp in Tanzania currently hosts 72,886 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers and UNHCR’s departure center, where Burundians depart from when they are repatriated to Burundi.
News

Hundreds of Burundians in Camp Targeted

(Nairobi) – Tanzanian authorities unlawfully coerced more than 200 unregistered asylum seekers into returning to Burundi on October 15, 2019 by threatening to withhold their legal status in Tanzania, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
A Tanzanian policeman watches over as Burundian refugees gather on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kagunga village in Kigoma region in western Tanzania, where they wait for transport to Kigoma township, May 17, 2015.
News

Ensure Repatriations Are Voluntary

(Nairobi) – Tanzania should protect Burundian refugees fleeing widespread abuses instead of requiring them to return to Burundi against their will. Tanzanian authorities have announced a plan to send all 183,000 Burundian…
A Tanzanian policeman watches over as Burundian refugees gather on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kagunga village in Kigoma region in western Tanzania, where they wait for transport to Kigoma township, May 17, 2015.
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Proposed Secure and Protect Act Attempts to Block Asylum Claims

If you follow the twisted logic of Senator Lindsey Graham’s Secure and Protect Act to its ultimate conclusion, the US would all but shut its doors to Central American refugees – full stop. A vote on the bill in the US Senate Committee…
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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
The people in the Central American caravan making their way to the US border with Mexico are facing real life-and-death issues that need to be addressed. What they don’t need is to be overshadowed by posturing and threats, particularly from the…
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News

Gangs Threaten Children, Parents

Maria* and Carlos* never wanted to leave Honduras with their three children, they told me. But then gangs began threatening Carlos and their 13-year-old son Eddy*. The family moved houses, but one evening masked men came to their little…
A Honduran mother and her 3-year-old daughter wait with fellow asylum seekers on the Mexican side of the Brownsville-Matamoros International Bridge after being denied entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers near Brownsville, Texas, U.S., June
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."