Summary: Civil society groups condemn growing human rights crisis in Burundi

Geneva, 26th July 2016: A coalition of Burundian NGOs, with the support of SRT grantees TRIAL International and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) along with three other human rights groups, has submitted a report condemning a resurgence in extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and cases of torture in Burundi.

During the 58th session of the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT), which is taking place from 25 July to 12 August 2016, Burundi will exceptionally be examined by experts from the Committee following the deterioration of the human rights situation there, triggered by a deep-rooted political crisis which began in May 2015 following a failed coup against President Pierre Nkurunziza. In the unrest which followed, over 400 people have been killed and 260,000 have fled the country.

Civil society has provided experts with an alternative report describing the alarming situation in Burundi since its last review by the Committee in 2014, and in particular the worsening situation in light of the 2015 political crisis. The report documents numerous violations of the UN Conventions, such as the increased use of torture, poor treatment during arbitrary arrests and detention, restrictions on free expression, and a significant increase in extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances.

The signatories are also concerned by the lack of investigations into these violations and the culture of impunity prevailing throughout the country. The report calls on the Burundian government to put a stop to the violations, prosecute those responsible, and guarantee compensation for victims.

The full report is available in English and French via TRIAL International’s website:

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