GENEVA (25 July 2016) - The UN Committee against Torture is due to conduct a special review* of Burundi on 28 and 29 July in Geneva, in light of information it has received about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
CAT members and a Burundian delegation, headed by the Minister of Justice, will discuss the following issues specified in the Committee’s written request for a special report, sent to the Burundian Government in December 2015:
- Steps taken to investigate summary executions, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment of opposition members, journalists, human rights defenders, and those considered as supporting the opposition since 2015;
- Progress in investigations regarding the attack against Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa in August 2015, the kidnapping and murder of his son Welly Nzitonda in November 2015;
- Investigations into allegations of torture committed by the National Information Service;
- Investigations into killings and acts of torture allegedly carried out by members of the Imbonerakure;
- Measures taken to implement the Committee’s previous recommendations issued in 2014, when Burundi was examined under the regular review process.
The review will take place at Palais Wilson in Geneva from 10:00 - 13:00 on 28 July and 15:00 - 18:00 on 29 July and be webcast live at http://webtv.un.org/ The Committee will also hear from NGO representatives.
The Committee has scheduled a press conference for Friday 12 August at 12.30 at the Palais des Nations to discuss its findings on Burundi and also the States being examined under the regular process – Kuwait, Honduras and Mongolia. These findings, officially known as concluding observations, will be published here on 12 August: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=1084&Lang=en
* The special report was requested by the Committee pursuant to article 19, paragraph 1 of the Convention, in light of information received about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country. The Committee has used this procedure only twice before – with Israel in 1997 and Syria in 2012.
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Members of the CAT are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties. The Committee’s concluding observations are an independent assessment of States’ compliance with their human rights obligations under the treaty. More information: http://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/cat/pages/catindex.aspx