Pierre Claver Mbonimpa was shot and wounded by unknown assailants in the capital, Bujumbura, on Monday. The attack was strongly condemned by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).“The attempted killing of such a highly respected activist as Mr. Mbonimpa sends a very chilling message to all members of civil society and also the entire population,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, warned in a press release.“The Burundian authorities should make it clear that such heinous attacks will not be tolerated and do their utmost to protect human rights defenders from future attacks,” he stressed, calling for immediate protection to be provided to Mr. Mbonimpa during his recovery in the hospital.Mr. Forst also urged an independent and impartial investigation so that perpetrators are brought to justice with due regard to fair trial standards.As President of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Incarcerated Persons (APRODH), Mr. Mbonimpa has a longstanding record of advocating for the rights of prisoners and fighting against torture in Burundi. His work has been recognized internationally by human rights awards.Mr. Mbonimpa has spoken out publicly about controversial issues, including on the recent presidential elections in the country, leading to his arrest and prolonged detention in 2014 and again in April 2015.“I met Mr. Mbonimpa on several occasions during my visit to Burundi in November 2014, and he struck me as one of the most courageous and respected human rights defenders in the country. The other defenders that I met with referred to him respectfully as ‘The Senior’ (‘Le Doyen’),” the Special Rapporteur said. “Together with other experts from the UN human rights system, we have repeatedly communicated our grave concerns to the Government about Mr. Mbonimpa’s situation and urged an immediate halt to such intimidating and harassing acts.”Mr. Forst’s statement has been endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteurs on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye; on freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Maina Kiai; on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff; and Seong-Phil Hong, who currently heads the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.
It is well documented that the cost of policing the past has a massive impact on how we deal with the present and the future. Whilst we are committed to meeting our current legislative responsibilities, dealing with legacy issues continues to place significant pressure on our organisation and financial resources.“Any new legislation to deal with issues of the past must be a matter for politicians to resolve.”Poll: Should Northern Ireland cease prosecutions for pre-Good Friday Agreement killings?Read: Northern Ireland Attorney General calls for end to Troubles prosecutions THE CHIEF CONSTABLE of the PSNI has said that any change to laws are a political matter, but welcomed the debate into how policing in the North is dealt with.Matt Baggott was responding to remarks earlier today by the North’s Attorney General that called for an end to prosecutions in relation to killings carried out during The Troubles.Baggott said that John Larkin’s statements would be studied and .“We welcome the debate into how we deal with the past and will study carefully what the Attorney General has said.”Baggott went on to say that policing legacy issues is a “significant pressure” on the force.