UN Human Rights Committee to hold 130th session

The 130th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Committee is set to begin today in Geneva. Over the next

UN Human Rights Committee

Photo: Elma Okic

The 130th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Committee is set to begin today in Geneva.

Over the next four weeks, the group of 18 independent human rights experts will host a series of meetings to examine 15 mandated state reports. These reports are meant to update the Committee on the status of member-state implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR).

Burundi will be the focus of one Committee meeting. Human rights organisations have accused Burundi’s security and police forces and the Imbonerakure—the youth branch of Burundi’s governing political party—of torturing those accused of participating in the 2015 failed coup and those with anti-government political views. As of 2016, there were 558 known instances of torture being used on individuals the government deemed to have participated in the coup.

While it has been five years since the attempted coup, reports of torture remain. The Committee is expected to address the torture claims while reviewing Burundi’s report later this month. If the claims are found to be substantive, the Committee will not be able to issue punitive measures. Instead, recommendations will be delivered on how the Burundi government can improve its human rights record.

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