• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Presentation of the annual activity report of the CNIDH, in front of the National Assembly


Feb 21, 2024

BUJUMBURA, February 21st (ABP) – The Independent National Human Rights Commission (CNIDH) proceeded, on Monday February 19, 2024, in the Kigobe hemicycle, to the presentation of the annual activity report, fiscal year 2023.

In the aspect related to the promotion of Human Rights, the CNIDH held various awareness-raising workshops for different actors, according to the chairperson of the CNIDH, Dr. Sixty Vigny Nimuraba. Among other things, he highlighted the awareness workshop for presidents of residential courts, the discussion workshop on the role of faith leaders in the protection and promotion of human rights, the awareness workshop on empowerment of young returnees, the workshop on the national strategy for the socio-economic reintegration of disaster victims and the inclusion of the Batwa minority community in Burundi, etc.

Furthermore, the CNIDH made 51 visits to prisons and re-education centers for minors in conflict with the law. Sometimes, these visits were made jointly with representatives of the basic prosecutor’s offices, the general prosecutor’s offices as well as those in charge of penitentiary institutions.

For the visits made to prisons, the chairman of the CNIDH indicated that out of a total of 4714 people (including 4007 men, 406 women, 277 boys and 24 minor girls) who were detained in different prisons of the country and at different times, 1,327 people (including 1,053 men, 147 women, 120 boys and 7 girls) were released thanks to those visits. This represents approximately 28.15% of those who were in detention, noted Dr. Nimuraba.

Regarding living conditions in the country’s 11 prisons, Dr. Nimuraba indicated that with their capacity to accommodate 4,294 prisoners, the 11 penitentiary institutions in Burundi accommodated, as of December 31, 2023, 13,565 people including 6,794 convicts and 6,771 detainees, i.e., an occupancy rate of 316%, not including infants living with their mothers.

In addition to a large movement of entries, due in part to the inappropriate use of preventive detention even for less serious offenses, Mr. Nimuraba said that the causes of prison overcrowding are, among other things, linked to slow processing of judicial files, untimely appeals against decisions released, to name but a few.

According to the chair of the CNIDH, respect for the law by all stakeholders can contribute to reducing the prison population, including the release of prisoners who have served their sentences and those acquitted, parole and presidential pardon.

Note that during the 2023 financial year, 134 prisoners with mental disabilities were identified by the CNIDH, the chairman of the CNIDH reported.