Human Rights Council 51st Session.
Item 4 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur
on the situation of human rights in Burundi.
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden
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I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries [- Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and my own country Norway].
We thank the Special Rapporteur for this update and for the dedicated efforts to follow up on his mandate.
We have seen some positive developments on freedom of expression after the new administration came into power in 2020. However, we still raise considerable concern about the structural human rights violations in Burundi.
We are deeply concerned about continued human rights violations committed by security forces and Imbonerakure against members of the opposition, human rights defenders, civil society, and journalists.
The Government has a responsibility to protect human rights and ensure that state and non-state actors cannot act with impunity. The role and the actions of the Imbonerakure are of particular concern.
We urge the Government to ensure that human rights violations and abuses are efficiently investigated, and perpetrators brought to justice; and to enhance human rights and political freedoms. This includes encouraging the voluntary return of refugees and exiles. National human rights institutions must be strengthened, including the National Human Rights Commission.
We urge the Government to cooperate with the UN Human Rights system and give the Special Rapporteur full and unhindered access.