Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Akich Okola, the U.N.’s Expert on human rights in Burundi, has voiced deep concern over the diminishing freedom of expression and association in Burundi. In recent weeks, several journalists, political opponents, and representatives of civil society have been intimidated and harassed while exercising their rights of expression and association. Among those recently arrested or detained are the editor of Net Press, the vice president of the staff union for non-judicial staff in the judiciary, and the head of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy. Okola warned that violations of these freedoms of expression and association will imperil the rule of law in the African Great Lakes country. Okala stated also that Burundi, as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international human rights treaties, must guarantee the freedom of expression and association.