U.N. urges Burundi to reverse ban on oldest human rights group

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The United Nations has called upon the Burundian government to reverse its decision to impose a ban on the country’s oldest human rights organization.

The country’s ministry of Interior issued the ban on Ligue Iteka earlier this week, accusing the rights group of tarnishing the image country’s image and “sowing hatred and division within the Burundian community.”

The U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters on Wednesday that the group “carries out crucial work in monitoring and documenting human rights abuses committed in Burundi, which is all the more important given the precarious human rights situation in the country.”

Haq said that along with urging a reversal of the ban, the U.N. is calling on Burundi’s government to reconsider restrictions on other human right and civil society organizations imposed in the past three months.

Burundi descended into turmoil in April 2015 following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a controversial third term in office, one which he went on to win in the July poll.

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