U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Burundi

As delivered by Jason Mack
29th Session of the Human Rights Council’s UPR 

Geneva, January 18, 2018

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States is extremely concerned by the serious human rights violations and abuses that continue to occur in Burundi, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, and sexual violence.  We are deeply concerned that these violations and abuses are being committed with impunity.

Burundi’s refusal to cooperate with the UN Commission of Inquiry and OHCHR demonstrates the government’s unwillingness to address the deteriorating human rights situation that has contributed to the flight of hundreds of thousands of Burundians from the country.  We deplore threats against UN personnel by government officials and ruling party members.

We are deeply troubled by continued restrictions on political and civic space for members of the opposition, independent media, and civil society.  A credible electoral process cannot take place without improvements in the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the freedom of expression.

The United States, therefore, recommends the following:

  1. Investigate violations and abuses of human rights and ensure that those responsible are held accountable;
  2. Allow the OHCHR office located in Burundi and the Commission of Inquiry to conduct their work without undue interference or threat;
  3. Allow members of the political opposition, civil society, and the media to participate freely and openly in civic and political activity in Burundi.

Thank you.