Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Somalia twin bombings kill 18 in Mogadishu

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Arming the "good guys"?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Gun Control in the United States: Will the Florida shooting be the turning point?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Giving a voice to the homeless in France

Read more

REPORTERS

'Never Again': The students pushing for US gun control

Read more

#TECH 24

A bright future for solar power

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Winter in France's Burgundy vineyards

Read more

FOCUS

How French cyber police are patrolling the 'Dark Web'

Read more

ENCORE!

Marseille mon amour: Mediterranean city celebrates love

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)