Burundi: Extend the Special Rapporteur’s mandate

Ahead of the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC51, 12 September-7 October 2022), 54 NGOs are joining DefendDefenders in calling for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Burundi. 

“We believe that all components of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate can contribute to im­proving Burundi’s human rights situation,” the signatories write while stressing that the Special Rapporteur needs more time to fulfil his mandate. 

The Special Rapporteur succeeded the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Burundi, which investigated grave violations and abuses committed in the country since 2015. Some of these violations may amount to crimes under international law. 

The signatories conclude: “In the absence of structural improvements and as grave human rights violations and abuses continue to be committed with impunity, the Council should adopt a resolution that reflects realities on the ground and ensures continued monitoring, reporting, and public debates on Burundi’s human rights situation.” 


Read the full letter in English
Disponible également : version française.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Veronica Almedom

Veronica Almedom is a poster child of successful immigration. A duo Eritrean and Swiss citizen, she was born in Italy, and grew up in Switzerland where she permanently resides. Her parents are some of the earliest victims of Eritrea’s cycles of violence. When Eritrea’s war of independence peaked in the early 1980s, they escaped the country as unaccompanied minors, wandering through Sudan, Saudi Arabia, before making the hazard journey across the Mediterranean into Europe. There, they crossed first to Italy, and finally, to Switzerland, where they settled first as refugees, and later, as permanent residents.