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Intervention by Estonia at the UN Human Rights Council 36th Session under Item 4 in interactive dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Burundi

18.09.2017

UN Human Rights Council 36th Session

 

 

Intervention by ESTONIA

 

Item 4: Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Burundi

Geneva, 18 September 2017

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Mr. President,

Estonia fully aligns itself with the EU statement. We thank the Commission for presenting their comprehensive report that gives an insight to the human rights violations in Burundi, some of which may amount to crimes against humanity.

 

Estonia expresses grave concern over the reported extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and sexual violence. We call on the government of Burundi to conduct independent and impartial investigations into these violations, to ensure that the alleged perpetrators are prosecuted and that the victims receive reparations.

 

We find it worrisome that the judiciary’s lack of independence, has sustained the impunity prevailing in the country, and thus support the call of the Commission for a thorough reform of the judiciary. We strongly invite Burundi to reconsider their decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, and to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court, as it is crucial for victims of grave crimes to receive justice.

 

Estonia notes with concern the government’s continued use of repressive measures against human rights defenders and suspension of civil society organizations. We call on the government of Burundi to guarantee the freedom of expression, association, and assembly, and address hate speech. We expect Burundi as a member of the Council, to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights and to fully cooperate with all Council mechanisms, and with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

 

Finally, we would like to express our support to the recommendation of the Commission to extend their mandate, to conduct further investigations of the ongoing human rights violations.

 

Thank you.

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