Burundi ICC withdrawal major step backwards - HRW
28 October 2016
Bujumbara - A rights group described Burundi's official withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a major step backwards for the victims who have suffered atrocities and their fight to see justice.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi's decision and instead, affirm their support for justice for victims of the gravest crimes.
President Pierre Nkurunziza signed legislation on October 18 calling for the withdrawal of Burundi from the ICC, claiming that the organisation was an instrument used by powerful countries to punish leaders who did not comply with the West.
"Burundi has failed to hold people responsible for brutal crimes to account and has sunk to a new low by attempting to deny victims justice before the ICC.
"This latest move only confirms Burundi’s continuing disregard for human rights and the rule of law," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
Burundi's decision to withdraw came after the United Nations Human Rights Council agreed to create a commission of inquiry into human rights abuses in Burundi since April 2015.
This article first appeared on News 24, see here.