Media Watch

Burundi: Journalist’s appeal of life sentence set for September

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BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI: The appeal hearing of a Burundi journalist jailed for life in June will open 28 September 2012 in the central town of Gitega, a spokesman for the country’s Supreme court said on Tuesday.

“The Gitega appeals court has registered the appeal by Hassan Ruvakuki, and the hearing has been fixed there for September 28,” Elie Ntungwanayo told AFP.

He said that another 22 people who were sentenced alongside Ruvakuki to terms ranging from 15 years to life had also appealed and would all be heard on the same day.

Ruvakuki, who works for French radio station RFI’s Swahili service and local broadcaster Bonesha FM, was convicted of planning an attack by an armed group on the eastern town of Cankuzo that left dozens dead, and spreading news of it afterward.

When Ruvakuki’s sentence was handed down in June, the Burundian Journalists’ Union said it “made a mockery of the rights of the press” in the central African country.

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