Human Rights Watch on Twitter: "Burundian authorities should immediately  and unconditionally release five human rights defenders arbitrarily  arrested on February 14, 2023, and drop the baseless charges against them. ...

On Tuesday 14 February 2023, five prominent human rights defenders, leading figures in Burundian civil society, were arrested in Burundi.

They have been deprived of their liberty for over a month, under the inadmissible and pretentious accusation of undermining the internal security of the State, of rebellion, etc.

They are all members of public associations that work with victims of gender-based violence, especially women and children across the country. 

They are also working on preventing land disputes, particularly in the northern provinces.

Their punishment is clearly linked to their continuous work in defending human rights that is not appreciated by the authorities. 

ECBA and the ECBA Human Rights Committee, in a joint letter with other international organisations, urge the Burundian authorities to immediately release the five detained human rights defenders. 

We also call on the authorities to stop criminalizing the work of civil society and to recognise their essential role in Burundi society.

The respect of the freedom of expression and association, without recourse to coercive judicial and security measures, is not negotiable

Please click on the links to read the statement and the open letter to the President of Burundi (both in French).