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Burundi: Challenging Impunity during Crisis


    © REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

    President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office sparked a political crisis in Burundi in April 2015. Amnesty International has documental the excessive use of force by police against demonstrators and torture and ill-treatment by police against demonstrators.

    Burundi has a longstanding tradition of impunity, with no accountability for perpetrators of the serious violations described. While the exact outcomes of the current political crisis are difficult to predict, it is likely that the situation will deteriorate over the duration of this project. The clampdown on civic space, including attacks on the media and civil society, has led many to flee the country or go into hiding. This has severely weakened the ability of civil society and the media to hold perpetrators accountable. Further legislative restrictions on civil society are expected.

    Burundi is currently facing its most serious crisis since the end of the civil war in 2005. The ability of civil society to monitor, document and report on serious human rights violations inside the country has been decimated with many journalists in exile or in hiding. Amnesty International’s role in documenting these violations and supporting human rights defenders to do the same becomes even more important as a way to lay the foundations for future accountability. This project seeks to challenge the culture of impunity and lay foundations for accountability through documentation, mobilization around emblematic cases and support for civil society to reclaim and reopen civic space. Without this, impunity will persist and democratic space will be completely eroded. 


    For more information about our current projects, please contact: Janet Park at (416) 363-9933 ext. 335 or by email

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