Burundi Targets Civil Society Organizations
In response to reports that the Government of Burundi intends to freeze the bank accounts of local civil society organizations, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Freedom House condemns in the strongest terms the government’s plan to freeze bank accounts of some of the country’s most prominent civil society organizations, including FORSC, FOCODE and APRODH, who are working to safeguard the fundamental rights of Burundians," said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “We call on the Burundian government to stop harassing civil society and allow these threatened organizations to do their work."
A new wave of violence began in Burundi after the ruling party announced that incumbent Pierre Nkuruniziza would be its candidate for president, in clear violation of the Arusha Accords which ended over a decade of civil war in the country.
Since April 2015, over 240 deaths have been reported and more than 200,000 people have been forced to flee the country. The government has forced all independent radio stations off the air, and characterized civil society organizations as “insurgents.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.