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ID with COI Burundi

Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi (oral briefing). Statement by Norway on 12 March, as delivered by First Secretary Sean Lobo.

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President,

It is of great concern to us that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Commission of Inquiry and human rights observers from the African Union currently are unable to carry out independent investigations into the human rights situation in Burundi.

We encourage the government of Burundi to allow them to resume all activities without hindrance.

We also urge the Government of Burundi to ensure that national human rights defenders, including members of civil society and media outlets, can operate in a safe and enabling environment. Human rights defenders, who have been arbitrarily sentenced, must be immediately released.

Free, fair and peaceful elections in 2020 will be key for peace and prosperity for all Burundians. We welcome the President’s decision not to stand in the 2020 elections, and encourage the government to immediately open up the political space, especially opportunity for political parties to register and participate freely in the electoral process.

Thank you.