Vital Nshimirimana

Vital Nshimirimana


Vital Nshimirimana

Vital is a Burundian human rights lawyer. In 2002, he became a member of the human rights League Iteka. In 2004, he created the Réseau des Citoyens Probes (RCP), a local NGO engaged in the fight against corruption. That same year he joined the judiciary and became an active member of the Union of Magistrates (SYMABU) and became the chair in 2009. With his fellow magistrates, he focused on exposing the lack of judicial independence and the wide-ranging consequences of that fact. He registered with the Burundi Bar Association in May 2013. He has prosecuted high profile cases as lawyer who is recorded in the East African Court of Justice. He was elected to chair the main Burundi civil society umbrella organization FORSC in 2013. Due to his involvement in organizing the peaceful demonstrations against the third term of President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015, he received death threats and was obliged to flee his country. He continued his human rights work in exile, engaging several human rights mechanisms, regionally and globally. He belongs to several human rights defenders’ networks including the East African Human Rights Defenders Network, which he has chaired since 2017. He sat on the Governing Council of EACSOF from 2012 to 2014. He also sits on the Board of Directors of DefendDefenders.

He holds 4 master's degrees in Law--the Diplôme des études supérieurs spéciales en droits de l’homme et résolution pacifique des conflits (DESS) from the University of Burundi (class of 2010), a master's in international and comparative environmental law from the University of Limoges (class of 2011), a master's in international law and the Settlement of Disputes from the United mandated university for peace of Costa Rica (class of 2012) and a Master of Law in Public and international law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (class of 2020).