Political violence involving Burundi ruling party's youth wing has "doubled"

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Ivan Šimonović

Incidents of violence involving the youth wing of Burundi's ruling party, against perceived political adversaries, has more than doubled compared to the same period last year.

The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović expressed particular concern over the matter at the end of his three-day visit to the east African nation.

Violence linked to the electoral process must be prevented, he warned, adding that harassment against perceived political adversaries "must not be tolerated".

Mr Šimonović also noted his deep concern regarding the growing restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, and peaceful assembly.

He called on the authorities in Burundi to pay special attention to the full respect for freedom of expression, including for journalists and human rights defenders.

The Assistant Secretary-General added that many donors consider that a continued assessment of the human rights situation is important to extend their support to the country.

Ivan Šimonović called on the Burundian authorities to ensure that human rights are fully protected ahead of next year's presidential elections.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’09″

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