Burundi: Special Rapporteur’s first report shows that patterns of human rights violations remain

Statement at the 51st Session of the UN Human Rights Council 

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Burundi 

Delivered by Lisa Majumdar 

Thank you, Mr President. 

CIVICUS and independent Burundian civil society organisations thank the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burundi for his first report. 

The human rights situation in Burundi has continued on a downward spiral despite President Ndayishimiye’s promises to deliver justice and promote civil and political tolerance. Since President Ndayimishiye came to power, the same patterns of extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture and other forms of human rights violations that characterised his predecessor’s rule can be seen. 

For instance, on 28 August 2022, Florine Irangabiye, a Burundian women’s rights defender, was arrested and detained in the Burundian Intelligence Bureau after her return from Rwanda, where she had been living.  She is accused of espionage against Burundi. We also note with concern a statement made by the ruling party’s Secretary General in which he called on the Imbonekure to continue night patrols and to “kill any troublemakers.” 

Lack of cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms has continued under this government. We call on the Burundi government to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur and grant him access to the country. 

In light of the human rights situation, and of the early stage of the mandate, we urge the Council to renew the Special Rapporteur’s mandate to ensure that the human rights situation in Burundi remains under the scrutiny of the Council. 

We thank you. 

 Civic space in Burundi is rated as "Closed" by the CIVICUS Monitor