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HRC37: Denmark's statement on Burundi


UN Human Rights Council
 37th Session
 Interactive Dialogue on Burundi, 13 March 2018
 Intervention by Denmark

Mr. President,

Denmark aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.

Let me begin by thanking the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi and for the update on the grave human rights situation in Burundi.

We remain deeply concerned by Burundi’s continued lack of cooperation with international actors including the OHCHR and the Commission of Inquiry established by this very Council to which Burundi is also a member.

We note with great concern that the situation in Burundi has not improved since the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Commission in September. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. The deeply concerning information presented today confirms previous reports of violations of human rights, which continue to gain in intensity – and includes arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Denmark condemns these actions and stresses that impunity can never be accepted.
 The space for political opposition and civil society is rapidly shrinking as freedom of expression, association, and assembly are almost non-existent. Furthermore, Denmark is particularly worried about the fact that Burundi in the end of October 2017 became the first nation to leave the ICC.

The situation in Burundi is forcing people to flee the country, or into internal displacement. Denmark reiterates its call upon the Government of Burundi to meet its responsibility to address the humanitarian crisis and respect human rights of all of its citizens.
 In closing, allow me to ask the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the members of the Commission:

• In the absence of cooperation on the side of the Government of Burundi, how can the Human Rights Council best support the Commission of Inquiry in fulfilling its mandate, including ensuring accountability and combat impunity in Burundi?

Thank you, Mr. President.