Burundi: Radio Reporter Convicted of Terrorism Marks a Year Behind Bars

A year after the arrest of the radio journalist Hassan Ruvakuki on 28 November 2011, Reporters Without Borders launches a new appeal for his release.

The press freedom organization believes the campaign in support of the Bonesha FM reporter, who also works as a correspondent for the Swahili service of Radio France Internationale, must be sustained.

"Since day one of the case, we have said repeatedly that Hassan Ruvakuki was only doing his job as a journalist and should not be behind bars," it said. "We eagerly await the announcement of verdict by the president of the Gitega Appeal Court and look forward to our colleague's early release.

"This past year has been a trying one, mainly for him personally, but also for his family and the whole of the Burundian press. Hassan Ruvakuki still needs the support of everyone and should be able to count on the help of his colleagues, human rights organizations and the international community."

Last June, Ruvakuki was sentenced by a lower court to life imprisonment for terrorism. His appeal was heard in October and November and a verdict is due by 8 January next year.

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