Human Right

CNIDH: “Demotion decision is based on allegations, hearsay and second-hand information”

Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza, Chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights says his commission has not yet received an official notification of the decision that demoted CNIDH from statute A to B even if the process lasted two years. He says CNIDH has already introduced a resort. The deadline for the notification was set on 24 November 2017. Human Rights activists say 48 days were granted to CNIDH to introduce its resort.

Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza: “We must look for support from some countries so that our resort should be accepted”

Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza: “We must look for support from some countries so that our resort should be accepted”

Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza, however, says the recommendation is unfounded. “The decision is based on allegations, hearsay and second-hand information that have been relayed by some organizations including FIDH, ACAT, APRODH, FOCODE, FORSC, and CBCPI”, he says.

Those organizations (ACAT, APRODH, FOCODE, FORSC and CBCPI) suspended in 2016, are accused by the National Commission of working hand in hand with FIDH to confirm this demotion. “The profile of these organizations that are characterized by some irregularities defend political interests, and are supported by those who do not care about what is happening to Burundians”, he says.

Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza says CNIDH was also accused of not confirming some information such as the ongoing genocide in Burundi and the rule of the presidential term in office. “CNIDH could neither confirm false information nor work for constitutional questions, our focus is only on human rights,” he says.

CNIDH Chairman also says the resort process needs to be supported by some countries. “We are facing a huge challenge of language, we must do our best to translate our documents into other languages to convince some countries to support our commission,” he says.

The chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights says the commission is still waiting for the official notification and move forward to the next steps.

In May 201 6, the Accreditation Subcommittee(SCA) of the World Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions decided to conduct a special review of CNIDH accreditation statute at its second session in November 2016 to ensure that CNIDH continues to operate in full compliance with the principles of Paris.

In November 2016, the SCA recommended that CNIDH be downgraded to B statute. The SCA has received allegations that CNIDH no longer complies with the Paris Principles in its methods of work. The allegations presented in May relate, in particular, to measures taken or omitted by CNIDH since 2015, in the wake of the elections, and statements made or omitted by CNIDH concerning gross violations of Human rights in the country.

Then, on the basis of the foregoing, the SCA considers that CNIDH is not fulfilling its mandate in order to promote respect for human rights, does not respond to credible allegations of serious human rights violations committed by the authorities and has not demonstrated willingness to speak out on all human rights issues, demonstrating a lack of independence. The SCA concludes that the attitude of CNIDH seriously undermines its respect for the Paris principles.

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