SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI blows his three candles
- The organization SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI is pleased to announce to the public that on this day of December 19th, 2018, it celebrates its 3 years of operation.
- This organization was created on December 19th, 2015 in the midst of massive human rights violations in Burundi where most human rights organizations were either suspended or dismissed by the Minister of the Internal Affairs and local development, Pascal Barandagiye.
- The starting principle of SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI was “To inform national and international opinion about serious human rights violations under way in Burundi through monitoring reports, particularly on torture, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and summary executions».
- Three years later, the principle remains the same because the promoters of SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI maintain this determination to document serious human rights violations and to build reliable reports from monitoring by human rights defenders on ground. This is the best way to contribute effectively to the promotion of respect for human rights in Burundi and to assist victims in their quest for justice.
- So it’s a choice made  from the beginning, in the aftermath of the massacres that took hundreds of young people, summarily executed in their own neighborhoods after the attacks of the military camps in Bujumbura Capital City on December 11th and 12th, 2015.
- The SOS-Torture/Burundi balance sheet since December 2015 is 157 weekly reports where various human rights violations are documented, ie more than 780 cases of murder, 100 cases of enforced disappearances, 320 cases of torture, 5000 cases of arbitrary arrests as well as more than 40 cases of rape. Many of these abuses perpetrated by Security Service agents, including the National Intelligence Service, the Army and elements of imbonerakure militiamen, remain until now without attracting any attention from Justice.
- This quantitative data has been used in advocacy with national and international actors to respond to the inaction of Burundian justice which remains an instrument of oppression of political opponents, human rights defenders and any critical of political-administrative authority.
- SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI is pleased that its reports have contributed, alongside those of other human rights defenders, to the attention of regional and international mechanisms for the protection of human rights in Burundi.
- Reports of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner, the Human Rights Council, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Serious Violations of Human Rights in Burundi and the opening of Investigations by the International Criminal Court are tangible results where the publications of human rights defenders like SOS-TORTURE/ BURUNDI are taken into account.
- Concerning the judicial sector, SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI has launched a periodical “Bulletin de Justice” to inform the public about the dysfunctional nature of Burundian justice, both in criminal and civil matters, which causes enormous prejudice both to the state than citizens, far from the press and social networks.
- Indeed, some judges fall into political militancy and corruption, thus favoring procedural defects and economic crimes to the detriment of those who are no longer entitled to a fair trial and whose property is plundered in the country to benefit of the holders of money power and weapons.
- SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI has decided to initiate this newsletter, which is on its 4th issue, in order to help restore the image of justice and allow it to restore the public’s trust by playing the role of pillar of a rule of Law in Burundi.
- In its perspectives, SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI would like to cover the whole country and list every violation committed in any corner of the territory, even if it is remote because its determination has never been shaken despite the difficult situation that endure human rights defenders in Burundi. As a result, the number of unseen field monitors should be increased to achieve the goal.
- The organization SOS-Torture/BURUNDI thanks all those who contributed to the achievement of its mission and those who encouraged it in one way or another.
- It hopes to continue this mission for a long time and continue to advocate for full respect of human rights in Burundi.
By Counsel Armel NIYONGERE
Director of SOS-TORTURE/BURUNDI
 SOS-Torture/Burundi was initiated by Human Rights Defenders of Burundi