Burundi

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

Commission of inquiry slams human rights abuses ahead of elections

UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi (CoI) concluded in its report, released on 4 September 2019, the existence of a climate of fear and intimidation for those who do not support the ruling party, controversy surrounds the killing of two opposition party members on 11 July 2019, while in police custody, At least one person was killed and 10 others wounded after fighting occurred between members of ruling CNDD-FDD party and those of the National Congress for Liberty (CNL) opposition party in Mubimbi commune, CSO PARCEM suspended by government, HRD Germain Rukuki's 32 year sentence upheld by Court of Appeal in his absence, BBC closes office until further notice Read more

Commission of inquiry slams human rights abuses ahead of elections

Youth militias target fledgling opposition parties

Opposition party members continue to face harassment and intimidation from authorities and youth militias, independent media face suspension and revocation of licences. Read more  |  Read in French

Youth militias target fledgling opposition parties

Government bans NGOs for 3 months amid continued crackdown on civil society

International NGOs suspended from operating in Burundi, while dozens are arrested for attending a leadership meeting. Parents in southern Burundi compelled to contribute to elections, as children are expelled from school for non payment of this fee. Read more

Government bans NGOs for 3 months amid continued crackdown on civil society