The UN special rapporteur Michel Forst is visiting Burundi from 14 to 25 November 2014. He was invited by the Government of Burundi. The objective of the visit is to look at the human rights defenders situation, the legal framework and the environment in which those are functioning for the protection and promotion of Human Rights.-By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse
It is the first time that Michel Forst comes to Burundi as an independent expert mandated by the UN. “Human rights defenders play a very important role in the exercise of democracy and in human rights respect in the country. They should conduct that mission without any hindrances or threats”, the expert mentions on the eve of his mission.
“My objective is to objectively and impartially evaluate the situation of human rights defenders in Burundi”, he points out. “In this context, the cooperation with the state is crucial. It will help me to carry out my mandate effectively. I am very glad with the invitation from the Burundian Government”, Forst notes.
The independent expert will meet government officials, legislative and judicial powers, members of the Independent National Human Rights Commission, a wide range of civil society actors, UN representatives and members of the diplomatic corps.
During his visit, it is expected that Michel Forst will be at Bujumbura, Ngozi and Rumonge.
The special rapporteur will provide his observations and preliminary recommendation during a press conference organized on 25 November 2014, in the Office of United Nations in Burundi (BINUB).