CAT/C/71/D/843/2017 1. The complainant is O.N., a national of Burundi, born on 18 February 1977. She claims that the State party has violated her rights under articles 2 (1) and 11–14 of the Convention, read in conjunction with article 1 or, in the alternative, with article 16, and under article 16 of the Convention, read alone. The State party made the declaration under article 22 (1) of the Convention on 10 June 2003. The author is represented by counsel from TRIAL International. The facts as submitted by the complainant 2.1 On 8 March 2014, the complainant was arrested when she tried to flee from a police assault on the headquarters of her political party, the Mouvement pour la solidarité et la démocratie.1 She was there to attend a meeting with other party members in Bujumbura. On that day, heavily armed police came to the party headquarters in large numbers. Two police officers slipped into the offices of the party headquarters without a warrant but were disarmed and overpowered by party activists. Other police officers then threw grenades and the party members scattered, seeking shelter. The complainant left the headquarters and, along with other members of the party, hid in a neighbouring house that was under construction. Several attempts at mediation were made by representatives of civil society to obtain the release of the two police officers, but the negotiations between the political party and the police failed. The police thus launched an assault on the headquarters. 2.2 The complainant and other party members were still hiding at the construction site when they were discovered by the police, who threw about 10 tear gas grenades into the house. During the assault, the complainant was severely beaten by police officers using rifle butts and nightsticks, and she was kicked in the head, back and abdomen. 2 Any money she had on her person and her telephone were taken from her. Bleeding from the head, neck, arms and other parts of her body after the police beatings, the complainant was held by the police, with other victims, in front of the party headquarters for more than two hours. 2.3 Staff of the Burundi Red Cross3 asked to provide the complainant with first aid, but the police prevented them from doing so. At around 9 p.m., the complainant was taken with the other wounded persons to the National Intelligence Service in Rohero, where she was insulted and subjected to intimidation. Police commissioner G.N. insulted the complainant and the other women in vulgar terms and asked them to tell him what their daily income was from the sex trade. At around 10 p.m., as a result of pressure brought by a civil society organization that the complainant could not identify, she was finally taken to the PrinceLouis-Rwagasore clinic. 2.4 At the clinic, four officers from the Judicial Search and Intervention Brigade were stationed around the clock in front of the complainant’s room. She was unable to receive visits from her family during her first day at the hospital. It was only the next day, on 9 March 2014, that her family was able to visit her, thanks to pressure from civil society organizations and messages carried in the media. During these visits, police officers were always present. 2.5 The complainant did not receive appropriate medical attention, as the health-care staff avoided caring for her out of fear of reprisals from the police, who were constantly checking on them. It was not until 17 March 2014 that the complainant was able to obtain authorization to have X-rays taken, at another hospital. Despite the submission of requests by the complainant’s lawyer on 30 March and 15 December 2015, he never received copies of elements in her medical file, in particular the hospitalization file, information on any examinations and the discharge ticket, which would have been useful in the context of the legal proceedings which the complainant wanted to bring. 1 2 3 2 The Mouvement pour la solidarité et la démocratie is an opposition political party. After the 2010 post-election crisis in Burundi, the political opposition was singled out in the government crackdown. Within the party, the complainant was the party secretary responsible for the female membership in Cibitoke, Bujumbura-Mairie. The complainant enclosed two photographs of scars on her left leg and her shoulder. The complainant maintains that the presence of the members of the Red Cross was confirmed by the authorities in a statement made to the press by the spokesperson for the police. GE.21-13853

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