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Press briefing notes on Burkina Faso


Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani
Location: Geneva
Date: 25 January 2022

The High Commissioner deeply deplores the military takeover of power in Burkina Faso yesterday. During her visit to Burkina Faso last November, she had stressed the importance of preserving the hard-won democratic and human rights gains made in the country, noting in particular the peaceful legislative and presidential elections held in 2020.

We call on the military to immediately release President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and other high-level officials who have been detained. We urge a swift return to constitutional order.

During the High Commissioner's visit, we observed mounting frustration and impatience with the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso – with the increasingly vicious attacks by non-State armed groups and other violent actors across the Sahel region, and with the response by the authorities. In the face of the security threats and tremendous humanitarian challenges facing the country, it is more important than ever to ensure that the rule of law, constitutional order, and the country's obligations under international human rights law are fully respected. It is crucial for democratic space to be effectively protected, to ensure people are able to air their grievances and aspirations, and to participate in meaningful dialogue to work towards addressing the many crises in the country.

We will continue monitoring the human rights situation in the country.


For more information and media requests, please contact:

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / or
Rupert Colville + 41 22 917 9767 / or
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 /

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Rupert Colville,
00 41 22 917 9767

Ravina Shamdasani
Deputy Spokesperson
00 41 22 917 9169

Marta Hurtado
Media Officer
00 41 022 917 9466