The authorities severely restricted the rights to freedom of expression and association, and targeted journalists, human rights defenders and political opposition members. Repressive legislation with broad provisions gave authorities sweeping powers to silence critics and stop media outlets, NGOs and political parties from operating. Authorities arbitrarily arrested and prosecuted government critics on trumped-up charges, and security forces were implicated in abductions and enforced disappearances. Burundian refugees and asylum seekers were subjected to government pressure to return to Burundi where they were at risk of serious human rights violations. LGBTI people were subjected to violence, legal harassment and discrimination.

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