The Advocates for Human Rights submitted a stakeholder report on political-based violence in Burundi to the U.N. Human Rights Council for Burundi’s third Universal Periodic Review.
Political-based violence remains a widespread problem in Burundi. Despite a decline in overt violence and fewer incidents of armed confrontation, reports of human rights violations targeting the ruling party’s perceived political opponents persist. These violations include extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture and ill-treatment. The Government increasingly restricts freedom of expression and association, including by adopting new legislation controlling the operations of non-governmental organizations. Further, the Burundian Government fails to prosecute those affiliated with the ruling party for human rights violations, fostering a state of impunity.
Since the country’s second Universal Periodic Review in 2013, the Burundian Government has taken few steps toward combatting political-based violence within the country. Significantly, Burundi did not accept 28 recommendations related to extrajudicial executions, freedom of expression and association, and protections for human rights defenders. Although Burundi accepted recommendations related to combatting impunity, the executive’s continued dominance over the judiciary undermines these UPR commitments. Burundi has made little progress to improve detention conditions or prevent the use of torture by security and intelligence forces. Exacerbating these issues, Burundi has failed to honor its commitment to assist with U.N. special procedures and has suspended all cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Burundi.
This stakeholder submission suggests several recommendations for Burundi, including:
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