News / Africa

Human Rights Watch Researcher Expelled from Burundi

Multimedia

Audio
Michael Onyiego

A researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch has been asked by the government of Burundi to leave the country for allegedly supporting opposition groups. Human Rights Watch says the move does not serve the interests of the Burundian people.

Burundian immigration officials have canceled the work permit of Human Rights Watch researcher Neela Ghoshal. Ghoshal, a citizen of the United States, has been working in Burundi for the past three years.

In a letter sent Tuesday, the Burundian minister of foreign affairs revoked her status as a Human Rights Watch representative in the country and asked her to leave Burundi by 6 p.m. on June 5th.

According to Human Rights Watch, the decision was based on a recent report written by Ghoshal which exposes rising political violence in the country as it prepares for elections starting this week.

The 47-page report, entitled "We'll Tie You Up and Shoot You," documents political assassinations and beatings carried out primarily by the ruling National Council for Defense of Democracy and its main opposition, the National Liberation Forces party.

The government has accused Ghoshal of harming the interests of Burundi and exhibiting a bias towards opposition groups. In the letter, the foreign minister said Ghoshal has ignored government efforts to address the issues confronting the elections.

Human Rights Watch has defended Ghoshal's work, explaining it has no political preference. A spokesperson for the organization, Reed Brody, says Ghoshal's expulsion will only hurt Burundians.

"Obviously it raises questions of international law, in terms of the right of the people of Burundi to have free and fair elections in which there are international monitors and observers. It does raise questions about freedom of expression and freedom of opinion. We are just hoping the government of Burundi will reconsider," Brody said. "It does not serve the interests of the people of Burundi to kick out impartial researchers who are seeking to promote and protect the rights of the Burundian people."

According to Brody, the Burundian government has a tendency to expel members of the international community. In December, the head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi was thrown out after a report was published alleging government support of anti-government rebels in Rwanda. Similar circumstances forced two other U.N. chiefs to leave in 2006.

Burundi will begin a summer-long series of elections starting with municipal polls on Friday, May 21. In addition to Human Rights Watch, organizations such as London-based Amnesty International and the Brussels-based International Crisis Group have expressed concerns about political repression and violence before the upcoming poll.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid