Note by the Secretariat
The Secretariat has the honour to transmit to the Human Rights Council the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders on his mission to Burundi from 14 to 25 November 2014. During his visit, the Special Rapporteur met with senior government officials and human rights defenders.
In his report, the Special Rapporteur first describes the legal and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of human rights in Burundi. He then details the current situation faced by human rights defenders in the exercise of their legitimate activities.
The Special Rapporteur subsequently analyses the main challenges faced by human rights defenders, in particular impunity for violations committed against them and lack of protection against such violations, illegitimate restrictions on the exercise of fundamental rights, criminalization, the capacity of civil society actors and coordination among them and stigmatization. The report concludes with recommendations.
The Special Rapporteur has partially updated the report in the light of recent political developments and the violence that erupted in April 2015. He is nevertheless well aware that the report is not fully up to date in terms of the evolving situation in Burundi, notably the escalation in violence that has plunged the country into chaos and the lack of an appropriate response by the international community at the time the report was drafted.