Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Ghana votes in tight presidential race

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Graduation', 'Go Home' & Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas turns 100

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French educational system 'as mediocre as always'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Southern India bids farewell to 'Amma'

Read more

FACE-OFF

2017 French presidential election: Can Valls unite the left?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump wins $50bn US investment from Japan's Softbank

Read more

THE DEBATE

France 24 turns ten: How to cover a changing world (part 1)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Interior minister takes over as France's premier

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Former LRA commander Ongwen pleads not guilty to 70 counts of war crimes

Read more

Africa

Reporter for French radio faces life sentence for 'terrorism'

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-06-20

Hassan Ruvakuki, a journalist working for Radio France Internationale (RFI), was among 13 men sentenced to life in prison on terrorism charges in Burundi Wednesday. Ruvakuki denies the charges and plans to appeal the decision.

Radio France International (RFI) journalist Hassan Ruvakuki was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison by a court in Burundi on terrorism charges, spurring outrage among African and French news companies.

The court in the eastern province of Cankuzo ruled that Ruvakuki, a Burundian national, was guilty of aiding Burundian rebels based in neighbouring Tanzania.

The radio journalist was arrested in November 2011 in the capital city of Bujumbura on charges of helping organise the guerrilla group behind an attack in Cankuzu.

Denies charges

Ruvakuki has formally denied the charges against him, and said he would appeal the court’s decision. He was alongside 13 other men handed life sentences in Wednesday’s ruling. Nine other men were sentenced to 15 years in jail each, also on terrorism charges.

Radio Bonesha FM, a local station that also employed Ruvakuki, said the court’s decision was “an embarrassment to the Burundian justice system, for the country and its government.”

RFI and its affiliated television news channel, FRANCE 24, expressed shock after the ruling.

“Our colleague was condemned by Burundi’s justice system for doing his job. Hassan Ruvakuki will appeal this sentence and he can count on our support,” the two news media organisations said in a joint statement.

Date created : 2012-06-20

  • BURUNDI

    Political tensions on rise as gunmen kill dozens in bar attack

    Read more

  • CHINA

    China expels Al Jazeera correspondent

    Read more

COMMENT(S)