Burundi

Abductions and killings of opposition members continue in alarming rates

Since 7th February 2022, Jean Claude Nzigamye, an activist and member of the opposition party, the National Congress for Freedom (Congrès national pour la liberté, CNL), has been missing after he was allegedly kidnapped in Ngozi; the police prohibited civil society organisations OLUCOME and PARCEM from holding a press conference Read more  |  Read in French

Tags: censorship
Abductions and killings of opposition members continue in alarming rates

President Ndayishimiye pledges to release political prisoners

On 29th December 2021, President Ndayishimiye promised to release political prisoners, in line with the presidential practice of granting amnesty to inmates at the end of every year; the National Congress for Freedom (CNL), Burundi’s main opposition party, accused the government of being responsible for enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests of some of its activists; police officers arrest and detain Bonesha FM journalist Venant Niyomwungere; Read more  |  Read in French

President Ndayishimiye pledges to release political prisoners

Appeal court upholds HRD’s unfair conviction

the Court of Appeal in Ngozi upholds the conviction and sentence of Burundian lawyer Tony Germain Nkina; President Evariste Ndayishimiye publicly vilifies RFI journalist Esdras Ndikumana Read more  |  Read in French

Appeal court upholds HRD’s unfair conviction

Prominent HRD Germain Rukuki released

Human rights defender Nestor Nibitanga released; Germain Rukuki’s conviction overturned and released; lawyer Tony Germain Nkina sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of one million Burundian francs (approximately US$ 500); main opposition party CNL raise concerns over the alleged abductions of party members; National Communication Council (CNC) lifted the ban on the BBC and a local news website, Ikiriho Read more

Prominent HRD Germain Rukuki released

Release of IWACU four journalists, refugees experience human rights violations

On 9th March 2021, 5,225 Burundian prisoners were pardoned pursuant to a presidential decree dated 5th March 2021, in an attempt to decongest the prisons. The decree is likely to benefit prisoners convicted of minor crimes, pregnant women or those with children, minors, prisoners with chronic diseases, prisoners aged 70 and above, and inmates with mental disorders. The presidential decree also resulted in the release of four journalists who were convicted of threatening the country's security being released. The four journalists were arrested in October 2019 while reporting in Bubanza province on the insecurity that befell the region. They were accused of attempts of conspiracy that undermined the country’s internal security which the four journalists refuted, arguing that they were only doing their work. In June 2020, the court dismissed their appeal and they were sent to Bubanza Prison to serve their sentences, but they were granted a presidential pardon later in the year. Read more

Release of IWACU four journalists, refugees experience human rights violations

Activists, journalists in exile sentenced to life in prison in a trial clouded by secrecy

On 2nd February 2021, it was publicly announced that 34 individuals, who live in exile, were sentenced to life in prison. According to a document signed by the Supreme Court, the ruling happened on 23rd June 2020, seven months prior to the announcement. Among the individuals who were sentenced figure journalists, civil society leaders and lawyers Read more

Activists, journalists in exile sentenced to life in prison in a trial clouded by secrecy

CoI mandate extended; Iwacu four are released

the HRC extended the CoI’s mandate for 12 months; Burundian MP Fabien Banciryanino, a vocal critic of the late President Pierre Nkurunziza, detained for an alleged attempt to overthrow the government; former president Pierre Buyoya was given a life sentence for his part in the assassination of his successor Melchior Ndadaye, dies from COVID19 before starting his sentence; Amnesty International called for the unconditional release of Germain Rukuki; Burundian government informs the UN Secretary-General that the office of the UN Special Envoy to Burundi would close by the end of 2020; Imprisoned Iwacu journalists released after pardon Read more

CoI mandate extended; Iwacu four are released

Civil society intensifies calls to release jailed activists, journalists

Civil Society calls for renewed interest in the case of human rights defender Germain Rukuki, who has been imprisoned for the past three years; Recent case of the four journalists from Iwacu group was named by Time Magazine as the fifth most urgent case of threats to press freedom in the world; Human Rights Watch (HRW) concerning Burundi’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the silencing of medical doctors and healthcare workers; President Ndayishimiye makes reference to exiled opposition leaders, linking them with “support of homosexuality" in televised speech Read more  |  Read in French

Civil society intensifies calls to release jailed activists, journalists

Election period sees clampdown on freedoms; Outgoing president Nkurunziza dies suddenly

Ahead of the May 2020 elections,United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi launches an appeal to the international community to join forces to encourage the Burundian Government to reopen the democratic, civil and political space in the country; Opposition face hurdles and attacks ahead of elections; internet restrictions experienced on election day; while journalists and HRDs face prosecution for peacefully exercising their freedom of expression Read more  |  Read in French

Election period sees clampdown on freedoms; Outgoing president Nkurunziza dies suddenly

Opposition politician found slain as government warns media ahead of 2020 elections

United Nations Special Envoy to Burundi, Michael Kafando, announced plan to step down, opposition party member raped and killed, national media regulator announces new code of conduct for journalists covering upcoming elections, 4 journalists arrested and detained while covering clashes between armed group and security forces Read more  |  Read in French

Opposition politician found slain as government warns media ahead of 2020 elections