World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Freedom Of Expression Endangered In Burundi

Freedom Of Expression Endangered In Burundi, UN Human Rights Expert Says

New York, Dec 1 2008 1:10PM

An independent United Nations human rights expert today voiced his deep concern over the diminishing freedom of expression and association in Burundi, warning that violations of these freedoms imperil the rule of law in the African Great Lakes country.

“The Government must restore a calm political climate and take all necessary measures to end the harassment and intimidation of journalists and representatives of civil society, trade unions and political parties,” said Akich Okola, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Burundi.

In recent weeks, several journalists, political opponents and representatives of civil society and trade unions have been intimidated and harassed while exercising these basic rights, he said, calling for the immediate release of those who have been arrested.

The editor of Net Press, the vice president of the staff union for non-judicial staff serving in the judiciary and the head of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MDC) are among those who have been detained for alleged threats to state security, defamation or slander of the head of State.

“Such developments pose an obstacle to the firm rooting of the rule of law, peace and security in Burundi, and in the entire region,” Mr. Okola, who has served as Independent Expert since 2004, said.

These incidents are particularly worrying, because they come ahead of elections scheduled for 2010, which must be free and fair and “must be seen to be so,” he said. “Such standards will not be met if freedom of expression and association are not observed.”

As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international pacts, along with its own constitution, Burundi must guarantee the freedom of expression and association, the expert said.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>