Burkina Faso

Human Rights in Burkina Faso

Amnesty International  Report 2013

The 2013 Annual Report on
Burkina Faso is now live »

Head of state Blaise Compaoré
Head of government Tertius Zongo
Death penalty abolitionist in practice
Population 15.2 million
Life expectancy 51.4 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 183/176 per 1,000
Adult literacy 23.6 per cent

More than 300 people were arrested during protests against rising living costs and more than 80 were sentenced to prison terms without having access to a lawyer.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions

In February, there were several demonstrations against rising living costs in the capital Ouagadougou and in Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest town. The protests became violent, with demonstrators destroying property and hurling rocks at the police. The security forces arrested several hundred people and at least 80 of them were sentenced in March to prison terms without having access to a lawyer.

  • Nana Thibaut, leader of the opposition party, the Democratic and Popular Rally (Rassemblement démocratique et populaire, RDP) was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.


No progress was reported in the investigation of the killing, in 1998, of the journalist Norbert Zongo.

Right to health

Despite some measures taken by the government in the past two years to improve access to maternal health services, including a reduction in fees for routine deliveries, the maternal mortality rate remained very high.

Death penalty

In February, one person was reportedly sentenced to death in Dédougou.

Amnesty International visits

An Amnesty International delegation visited Burkina Faso in July.