HRC / BURUNDI SIMONOVIC

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22-Mar-2016 00:02:19
A senior UN official in Geneva issued a warning about deteriorating conditions in Burundi, saying that “continued political tensions in the country threaten to escalate into a spiral of violence." UNTV CH

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STORY: HRC / BURUNDI SIMONOVIC
TRT: 02:19
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 22 MARCH 2016 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, United Nations:
”The situation in Burundi is of great concern. Continued political tensions in the country threaten to escalate into a spiral of violence. The humanitarian, economic and social toll on the population is equally worrisome. Since April 2015 when the crisis began, and as of 21 March, yesterday, at least 474 people have been killed and there are 365 cases of alleged enforced disappearances. “
4. Med shot, Burundi delegation
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, United Nations:
“Some effort is being made to reestablish rule of law, I strongly urge the government to release all other included in our list as well as others detained for political reasons only.”
6. Wide shot, Human Rights Room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, United Nations:
“We urge further and much more credible investigations into the multiple alleged mass graves in the country. The offer by the UN Human Rights Office in Burundi to provide forensic experts is still valid”.
8. Pan right , podium
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, United Nations :
“Already in 2014 Burundi was rated the world’s leading nation affected by hunger according to global hunger index. With the detrimental effect of the current political crisis on the Burundian economy, malnutrition is a major humanitarian concern with 730 000 people considered seriously malnourished. According to UNICEF, the number of children admitted for severe acute malnutrition in Bujumbura doubled between October and December 2015”.
10. Wide shot, delegations
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, United Nations:
“Members of civil society have been the targets of arrest and intimidation by the government and many have fled to neighboring countries for their safety”.
12. Med shot, panel
13. Wide shot, screen in Human Rights Council
14. Wide shot, delegations
15. Zoom out, photographer to panel

STORYLINE:

A top United Nations (UN) human rights official in Geneva issued a warning about deteriorating conditions in the central African country of Burundi.

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva today (22 Mar) “the situation in Burundi is of great concern. Continued political tensions in the country threaten to escalate into a spiral of violence."

The humanitarian, economic and social toll on the population is equally worrisome," Ivanovic said, adding that "since April 2015 when the crisis began, and as of 21 March, yesterday, at least 474 people have been killed and there are 36 cases of alleged enforced disappearances."

Simonovic recalled that more than 4,950 people have been detained in the context of the crisis, including 1,834 still remaining in the prisons. There were 496 allegations of torture or ill-treatment. The Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights also said “some effort is being made to re-establish rule of law. I strongly urge the government to release all other included in our list as well as others detained for political reasons only.”

He also urged “further and much more credible investigations into the multiple alleged mass graves in the country. The offer by the UN Human Rights Office in Burundi to provide forensic experts is still valid.”

Simonovic noted the conflict has also impacted the economy in a serious way.He said “already in 2014 Burundi was rated the world’s leading nation affected by hunger according to global hunger index. With the detrimental effect of the current political crisis on the Burundian economy, malnutrition is a major humanitarian concern with 730 000 people considered seriously malnourished. According to UNICEF, the number of children admitted for severe acute malnutrition in Bujumbura doubled between October and December 2015.”

The human rights violations in Burundi have had a wider effect on the Great Lakes region. UNHCR has reported 250,000 refugees in neighboring countries. Simonovic said “members of civil society have been the targets of arrest and intimidation by the government and many have fled to neighboring countries for their safety”.
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