Burundi: Amnesty International Piles Pressure for Release of Activist Lukuki

Bujumbura, Burundi.

Nairobi — Amnesty International has renewed pressure on the Burundian Government to release an activist jailed for 32 years.

Germain Lukuki has already served four years in prison in what they termed as trumped-up charges for championing human rights in his country.

Lukuki is said to be among political prisoners in Burundi who were arrested for protesting plans by former President the late Pierre Nkurunzinza from running for a third term in office.

On Wednesday, Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Houghton Irungu led a team of activists to deliver a letter of appeal to Burundi's Charge d'Affaires Esperance Mateso, addressed to Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye.

"Amnesty International is calling on the Burundian authorities to overturn his conviction and release him immediately unconditionally. He is a prisoner of conscience detained solely for his human rights work," Irungu said.

He was accompanied by former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Amnesty International Eastern Africa Deputy Regional Director Sarah Jackson.

They also delivered thousands of letters from activists and supporters around the world calling for release of Lukuki and other innocent political prisoners.

Irungu said since Burundi has a new government which has promised a new dawn and respect for human rights, it is only fair to set him free.

Charges that were published against him in 2017 include threatening state security and rebellion.

The prosecution also added the charges of assassination, destruction of public and private property and participation in an insurrectionist movement.

He was acquitted of the assassination and destruction of public and private property charges, but was handed a 32-year prison sentence on the three other charges.

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