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Díospóireachtaí
Déardaoin, 16 Eanáir 2020 - Strasbourg Eagrán sealadach

Burundi, notably the freedom of expression
MPphoto
 

  Seán Kelly, thar ceann an Ghrúpa PPE. – A Uachtaráin, táimid ar ais arís sa Bhurúin agus ón am a phléamar an scéal seo ó chianaibh, níl aon scéal maith againn. Drochscéal i ndáiríre, easpa saoirse do lucht an phreasa, easpa cearta daonna do mhuintir na Burúine agus is fiú díospóireacht a bheith againn ar an ábhar seo ar maidin.

On 14 March 2016, the EU suspended all direct financial support to the Burundian administration. This arose out of the 2015 presidential elections, which were boycotted by the opposition and which the UN Observatory condemned.

The EU deplores the continued oppression of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in Burundi. In 2018 and 2019, media outlets faced increased harassment by the Burundian authorities when foreign-operating licenses such as that of the worldwide respected BBC were withdrawn. The Burundian authorities continue to subject independent journalists to arbitrary arrests. In the World Press Freedom Index, Burundi is ranked 159th out of 180 countries in 2019. That says it all where freedom of expression and freedom of speech are concerned.

With presidential, parliamentary and local elections taking place in 2020, this remains a huge issue. On 22 October 2019, the Burundian police arrested four journalists on the basis of complicity in threatening state security and a judgment is to be given on those in 30 days. For that reason, it is so important that the European Union and our High Representative take immediate steps and make representations there to ensure that the 15-year prison term suggested is not given to these journalists.

Finally, I would say also that we need to work closer with the East African Community and the African Union to protect the Burundian population. We can only improve on the terrible situation that is there at the moment.

 
An nuashonrú is déanaí: 7 Feabhra 2020Fógra dlíthiúil