The Burundian authorities should overturn the 32-year sentence handed to human rights defender Germain Rukuki and set him free, according to Amnesty International following his appeal hearing on 26 November.
“Germain was tried and imprisoned simply because he worked for a human rights organization. The appeal court should quash his sentence and release him immediately and unconditionally,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“The Burundian government must also release all other prisoners of conscience in the country and allow human rights defenders to do their work without fear of reprisals.”
Germain Rukuki was arrested on 13 July 2017 in the capital Bujumbura and charged on 1 August 2017. The charges were based on his former affiliation with the anti-torture organization, ACAT-Burundi, which was suspended in the latter part of 2015 and permanently closed in October 2016.