In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International makes the following recommendations to Burundi:

National Independent Human Rights Commission:
•    Continue to strengthen and support the independence and work of the CNIDH, by providing adequate resources for transport, communication and the establishment of regional offices.

Impunity for past human rights violations:
•    Revise and enact at the earliest opportunity a TRC law that complies with international human rights law and standards and stipulates that there can be no amnesty for crimes under international law; clearly proposes a Special Tribunal with an independent prosecutor after the TRC has completed its work; and includes the appointment of international commissioners;
•    Take all necessary steps to establish a Special Tribunal with the powers to determine individual criminal responsibility for crimes committed between 1962 and 2008 in trials which meet international fair trial standards.

Extra-judicial executions by security forces :

•    Request judicial authorities conduct prompt and full investigations into all extra-judicial executions committed by security services and, where there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecute those responsible;
•    Publish the findings of the national commissions of inquiry established to investigate extra-judicial executions;
•    Immediately establish and fund a national witness and victim support programme to allow witnesses of political killings to testify about such crimes, including those involving state agents.

Torture and other ill-treatment:

•    Suspend from duty members of the PNB and SNR suspected of being involved in torture and ill-treatment, as well as the officials who order or condone such crimes regardless of their rank, pending an impartial and independent criminal investigation;
•    Initiate independent and impartial criminal investigations into all alleged cases of torture and ill-treatment, make the outcome of such investigations public, and prosecute all SNR, PNB and other state agents involved in such crimes;
•    Sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

Arbitrary arrest and pre-trial detention:

•   Refrain from using arbitrary arrest to silence critics.

Harassment of human rights activists and journalists:

•    Refrain from intimidating human rights defenders and journalists, including through the arbitrary use of judicial summons and threats in the media, on account of their legitimate human rights work.

Lack of judicial independence:

•    Request the judicial authorities investigate and, where sufficient evidence exists, prosecute all those implicated in Ernest Manirumva’s killing, including any high-ranking security officials;
•    Adhere to the laws regarding the recruitment of magistrates and ensure that the Minister of Justice organizes competitive examinations to recruit magistrates in a fair, open and transparent way, as specified in the Ministry of Justice Sectorial Policy 2011-2015.

Conditions of detention:

•    Ensure that the police, the intelligence services and the judicial authorities respect procedures for arrest and legal custody as set out in the Criminal Procedure Code;
•    Provide funding to increase administrative staff in Burundi’s 11 prisons to review detainees’ case files, in order to reduce the backlog of cases and shorten pre-trial detention.



Burundi: Amnesty International's submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review