Radio reporter is released, but for how long?

first_img BurundiAfrica March 6, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Radio reporter is released, but for how long? November 27, 2020 Find out more The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa News Organisation Reporters Without Borders hails Burundian radio reporter Hassan Ruvakuki’s release today after 15 months in prison and hopes it will open the way for official recognition of his innocence. His release, which is precarious inasmuch as it is “on health grounds,” comes just days before an official visit by President Pierre Nkurunziza to France.“We are relieved to learn that Ruvakuki is out of prison and back with his family,” Reporters Without Borders said. “But he was released on the orders of government officials, not because a court overturned his conviction. “We wonder why they did this ahead of a presidential visit to France. If they hope to take advantage of what could be seen as a goodwill gesture, it should be pointed out that Ruvakuki is still subject to a three-year jail term and could be returned to prison at any time.”President Nkurunziza is due to begin a three-day visit to France on 10 March.Reporters Without Borders urges French President François Hollande to raise the Ruvakuki case with him when they meet for talks on 11 March.Employed by local radio Bonesha FM and Radio France Internationale’s Swahili service, which is based in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam, Ruvakuki has been persecuted by the Burundian judicial system just doing his duty as a journalist to gather information. He was arrested in Bujumbura in November 2011 shortly after returning from neighbouring Tanzania, where he had gone to cover a Burundian rebel group that was being formed there. He had prepared a report but asked Radio France Internationale not to broadcast it because he could not get a Burundian government official to comment. The head of the nascent rebel group had also refused to answer his questions.He was sentenced to life imprisonment in June 2012 on a charge of “participating in terrorist activity.” This was reduced to three years in prison on appeal on 8 January after the charge was changed to “participating in an association formed with the aim of attacking persons and property.”A request for his conditional release was rejected on 19 February.All the information about the Ruvakuki case. October 21, 2020 Find out more News Follow the news on Burundi Burundian appeal court upholds prison sentences for four journalistscenter_img Reports Receive email alerts BurundiAfrica News RSF_en to go further Help by sharing this information Four Burundian journalists complete 12 months in arbitrary detention June 5, 2020 Find out morelast_img

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