Burundi: NGOs submit first extrajudicial killings complaints to African Commission
Civil society seeks justice for the first time before the African Commission for cases of extrajudicial killings that remained unpunished before the national judicial authorities. NGOs have submitted four complaints to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. These include several cases of extrajudicial killings committed between 2010 and 2012.
Several extrajudicial killings mainly targeting political opponents have been committed in Burundi between 2010 and 2012. Such violations of the right to life which occurred outside the scope of any legal proceedings and involved State agents (referring here to the internationally accepted definition of extrajudicial killings) still remain largely unpunished. In this context, a group of NGOs composed of ACAT-Burundi, APRODH,FOCODE, FORSC and TRIAL and supported by Human Rights Watch submitted four complaints to the African Commission regarding the extrajudicial killings perpetrated against:
On behalf of the victims, the civil society seeks justice for the first time before the African Commission for cases of extrajudicial killings that remained unpunished before the national judicial authorities.
In light of the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the assassination of the anti-corruption activist Ernest Manirumva on April 9, it is all the more necessary to continue the fight against impunity for such human rights violations in order to prevent crimes of this gravity to be committed again and preserve the hard-won peace in Burundi.
These NGOs have formally requested the African Commission to adopt provisional measures to protect the families of victims, witnesses and their supporters. The NGOs also urge the Burundian authorities to duly assume their responsibilities in protecting these people and respect their rights.
Since November 2011, fourteen cases revealing serious human rights violations in Burundi have been submitted to UN treaty-bodies protecting human rights, namely to the Committee against Torture and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, due to the passivity of the national judicial authorities to examine the victims’ allegations. While eleven cases are still pending before the Committee against Torture, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has already held in 2012 that the detention of Mr. François Nyamoya was arbitrary, thereby requiring that he be afforded a compensation and that other restrictions to his freedom of movement be lifted.
Update: Two complaints have been declared admissible by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: the case concerning Mr. Médard Ndayishimiye in 2016 and the case concerning Mr. Jackson Ndikuriyo in 2018.