Burundi lawyers threatened; UN committee on torture objects

The U.N.'s committee against torture is expressing "grave concern" after four Burundi lawyers were threatened with disbarment for contributing to its review of the country's recent chaos.

A statement Monday says a Burundi prosecutor last month asked the president of the bar council in the capital, Bujumbura, to de-list lawyers Armel Niyongere, Lambert Nigarura, Dieudonné Bashirahishize and Vital Nshimirimana. They were accused of numerous offenses, including being involved in an attempted coup.

On the same day, Burundi's government said it would not participate in further dialogue with the U.N. committee.

The four lawyers contributed to a report by non-governmental groups for the committee, which will publish its Burundi findings on Friday.

The East African country has been in turmoil since its president ran for a disputed third term last year.