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January 4-10, 2013

Weekly Media Monitoring report for Burundi
Posted on January 11, 2013


Compiled by Katalin Berényi, MIGS Desk Officer for Burundi 

  1. Hassan Ruvakuki condamned to 3 year sentence! 
RTNB, government-owned media

’3 ans de prisons contre le journaliste Hassan Ruvakuki’, Jan 8 2013

  • Bonesha FM journalist and RFI correspondant Hassan Ruvakuki and 10 coassused have been condamned to 3 years of prison by the Court of Appeal of Gitega 
  • They have been accused of having participated in an association whose objective was to attempt to commit murder against people 
  • Those three convicts of the case who were accused of terrorist attacks got 20 years sentence
  • Nine convicts have been condamned to life imprisonment for terrorist actions and for having caused the death of people int he communes of Kigamba and Mishiba in November 2011 
Net Press, privately-owned media

’Hassan Ruvakuki condamné à trois ans de prison ferme’, Jan 8 2013

  • This morning the verdict has been announced by the Court of Appeal of Gitega vis-à-vis Bonesha correspondant Hassan Ruvakuki
  • Since his arrest by the Burundian national secret services on 28th November 2011, this is the third time that the verdict has been changed
  • The Court of Appeal of Gitega condamns Ruvakuki for having participated in an association whose objective was to attempt to commit murder against people while the Court of Cankuzo had condamned Ruvakuki for life emprisonment on June 20th 2012, accusing him of participation in terrorist actions
  • Patrick Nduwinama, director of Bonesha FM, expressed his shock by this onesided judgement said against his journalist who only did his job 
  • Mr. Nduwinama truly wants to believe that there exists independent and neutral justice in Burundi and integral judges who do not obey to governmental orders
  • At this point, he is ready to proceed to the Supreme Court in close consultation with the defence lawyers
  • According to Mr. Fabien Segatwa, one of Ruvakuki’s lawyers, emphasized that his client was only doing his job as a journalist, and as such, he was permitted to look for information wherever possible, inside or outside the country, among rebellion groups or terrorists
  • He reminded the Burundian justice that Ruvakuki was not the first journalist to interview insurgents in the world, nor in Burundi, however, no one before him has ever been this much condamned for the same reason
  • However, considering that Ruvakuki was first condamned for life emprisonment, 3 years behind bars is already a great victory, furthermore, he could benefit of conditional liberation since he had already served ¼ of his sentence but that will depend ont he will of the minister of justice
RFI, international independent media

’Burundi: Trois ans de prison pour le journaliste de RFI Hassan Ruvakuki’, Jan 8 2013

  • Hassan Ruvakuki RFI journalist was condamned to 3 years sentence at the court of appeal
  • He was arrested on 28th November 2011 by Burundian authorities 
  • He just arrived to Tanzania as a jornalist to cover the birth of a new Burundian rebel group
  • Shortly afterwards, he was condamned to life imprisonment for ’terrorist actions’ 
  • The Court of Appeal of Gitega decided to reformulate the judgement of the first legal decision and condamn him for ’ having participated in an association whose objective was to attempt to commit murder against people
  • The president of the Burundian Union of Journalist was absolutely shocked raising the question how is it possible to commit murder with a microphone? 
  • According to one of Ruvakuki’s lawyers, Fabien Segatwa, „3 years is too much for an innocent person but it’s better than life imprisonment.”
  • He added that his client has already served one-fourth of his sentence, therefore is eligible to conditional liberation
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