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Human rights: UN independent expert begins second visit to Burundi

GENEVA (12 May 2011) - The United Nations Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Burundi, Fatsah Ouguergouz, will visit the country from 16 to 20 May to gather information from all parties on the human rights situation and in particular on the alleged violations of the right to life, physical integrity, freedom of expression and assembly, as well as measures taken by authorities to fight against impunity.

Mr. Ouguergouz will also assess the Government’s efforts at establishing a National Independent Human Rights Commission, created by law on 5 January 2011. "I welcome this development and will inquire with the authorities on the appointment of the Commissioners and the effective functioning of this institution,” the Independent Expert said.

In addition to his meetings in Bujumbura, the independent expert will also visit prison facilities in Ngozi, and hold talks with local authorities and representatives of the civil society in the province. He will report on the latest developments on the human rights situation in Burundi at the upcoming session of the Human Rights Council.

Al the end of his mission, on May 20, the Independent Expert will hold a press conference at 11:30 at the headquarters of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bujumbura.

The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Burundi, Fatsah Ouguergouz (Algeria), started his mandate on 1 August 2010. He is currently a judge at the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights in Arusha, Tanzania. He has worked at the International Court of Justice and the UN Office of Legal Affairs.

Learn about the mandate and work of the Independent Expert on Burundi: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/bi/mandate/index.htm

OHCHR Country Page – Burundi: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/BIIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Julie Tetard in Geneva (Tel.:+ 41 22 928 93 01 / e-mail: jtetard@ohchr.org) or M. Yves Boukpessi Bakobasso au Burundi (Tel: +257 76115349 / email: boukpessib@un.org).