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Torture and illegal detention on the rise in Burundi – UN rights chief

Torture and illegal detention on the rise in Burundi – UN rights chief

Burundi

The United Nations Human Rights chief has warned of a “sharp increase in the use of torture and ill-treatment in Burundi” with nearly 400 cases recorded so far this year, UN news centre reports.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the shocking figures of torture in the country is a clear indicator of the widespread and growing use of torture and ill-treatment by government security forces.

“Since the beginning of the year, my team has recorded at least 345 new cases of torture and ill-treatment,” he said.

Since the beginning of the year, my team has recorded at least 345 new cases of torture and ill-treatment.

These shocking figures are a clear indicator of the widespread and growing use of torture and ill-treatment by Government security forces.

The UN rights chief said his office estimates that some 595 people have been ill-treated or tortured since April 2015, a figure which is likely to be an under-estimate.

Most of the tortured and ill-treated detainees said they were denied medical treatment.

Some said intelligence services hid them in the toilets for days so their torture wounds could heal before they were returned to cells holding other prisoners.

A recent visit by the UN chief to detention centres run by the national intelligence service in the capital, Bujumbura; found that 30 of the 67 detainees visited showed physical signs of torture.

Many had fresh wounds on their bodies while some others were unable to walk without an assistance after being beaten with belts, iron rods or sharp objects or burned, Zaid said.

The UN rights has also voiced deep concern over reports of people being held in secret detention centres across Burundi.

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