Hassan Ruvakuki

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Hassan Ruvakuki

Agents from the Burundian National Intelligence Service arrested Ruvakuki, a reporter for the private broadcaster Radio Bonesha and correspondent for the French government-funded Radio France Internationale, as he covered a press conference in the capital, Bujumbura, according to local journalists. He was held without access to a lawyer for two days before Télésphore Bigiriman, a…

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Hassan Ruvakuki, seen here after his release from prison today. (RFI)

Burundi journalist Ruvakuki freed from jail

Nairobi, March 6, 2013–Burundian authorities today released Hassan Ruvakuki, a reporter who has been imprisoned for 16 months on charges related to his interview with a rebel leader. The circumstances of the release were not immediately clear, and the Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities to vacate Ruvakuki’s conviction and prison sentence.

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Burundi journalists react to tear gas at Tuesday's protest. (Teddy Mazina)

Burundi police attack journalists marching for Ruvakuki

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On Tuesday, Burundi’s press corps did what it has done for the past three weeks: protest the imprisonment of one of its own. Hassan Ruvakuki is a reporter jailed since November 28, 2011 on anti-state charges; for the first time, the journalists wore white t-shirts showing Ruvakuki in his green prison uniform. But this time,…

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Hassan Ruvakuki (IWACU)

Burundi journalists march to support Ruvakuki

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At 8 o’clock Tuesday morning roughly 50 Burundian journalists silently marched around the courthouses in the capital, Bujumbura, and the offices of the justice minister, protesting the imprisonment of their colleague, Hassan Ruvakuki. “They sentenced him to three years without following the law,” said Patrick Nduwimana, one of the protest organizers and the interim director…

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Hassan Ruvakuki attends court in October 2012 to appeal his life sentence. (AFP/Esdras Ndikumana)

Burundian court reduces journalist’s jail term

Nairobi, January 8, 2013–An appeals court in Burundi today dropped terrorism charges against jailed journalist Hassan Ruvakuki and reduced his sentence from life to three years in prison, according to local journalists and news reports.

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Hassan Ruvakuki was sentenced today to life in prison. (Iwacu-burundi)

Burundi reporter sentenced to life imprisonment

Nairobi, June 20, 2012–A Burundian appeals court must reverse the ruling against a journalist sentenced to life in prison on vague terrorism charges, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A High Court in the eastern town of Cankuzo today found Hassan Ruvakuki, a reporter for local radio station Bonesha FM and French government-funded broadcaster…

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Burundian prosecutor requests life sentence for journalist

New York, May 8, 2012–State prosecutors requested a life sentence today for Burundian radio reporter Hassan Ruvakuki who was imprisoned after airing a November interview with a purported rebel leader, according to news reports.

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South Sudanese Information Minister Michael Makuei has told reporters not to interview the opposition. (Eye Radio)

South Sudan government warning: Don’t interview rebels

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Last week, South Sudanese Information Minister Michael Makuei warned reporters in the capital, Juba, not to interview the opposition or face possible arrest or expulsion from the country. According to the minister, a lawyer by profession, broadcast interviews with rebels by local media are considered “hostile propaganda” and “in conflict with the law.”

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Attacks on the Press in 2013: Burundi

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Burundi’s climate of press freedom deteriorated under President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2013. In June, the president signed into law a severely restrictive bill that forces journalists to reveal sources and places heavy fines and prison sentences on coverage the government considers detrimental to state security or the local economy. In April, CPJ wrote an open…

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Attacks on the Press: Between Insurgents, Governments

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The rise of extremist groups who target journalists is a potent risk. By Mohamed Keita

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