Human Rights Council 45th Session.
Item 4 Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway
Nordic-Baltic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Norway)
23 September 2020
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I have the pleasure of delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and my own country Norway.
We support the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry’s report, and look forward to work with the new government in Burundi to improve the situation for human rights in the country. We call upon the government to end human rights violations committed by the security forces and the Imbonerakure, and to ensure that it is disarmed and not used for any official state security or other duties. Members who have committed serious human rights violations should be brought to justice.
We call upon the government to initiate confidence building measures. This should include the release of political prisoners, the reopening of the media and the review of restrictions regulating their work. The return of civil society representatives and opponents in exile, and the opening up of political space and the establishment of an inclusive political dialogue must be ensured.
We urge the government to fully cooperate with the international human rights mechanism put in place, OHCHR and the AU human rights observers. The reopening of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Burundi would be a strong signal and a tangible step forward.
I thank you.