10/07/2018 – Next Friday 13 July 2018 is the sad anniversary of the imprisonment of the Burundian human rights defender Germain Rukuki, for whom international NGOs, UN Special Procedures and the European Union call for immediate release.
Germain Rukuki is a Burundian human rights defender who was arrested on 13 July 2017 in Bujumbura and has since been detained. Last 26 April, he was sentenced by the Ntahangwa High Court in Burundi to 32 years in prison, for acts he did not commit – an unprecedented sentence for a human rights defender in Burundi. He appealed his conviction on 29 May.
On 11 June 2018, Germain had to undergo a surgical operation in the Ngozi hospital after he fractured his ankle and injured his right shoulder in prison. He was transferred back to Ngozi prison on 18 June, although he was still in a critical condition. To receive adequate medical treatment, he applied for bail on 26 June, which has not been granted to date.
Protection International strongly calls on the Burundian authorities to:
- Release Germain Rukuki on bail at reasonable conditions
- Ensure Germain Rukuki receives adequate medical treatment and full rehabilitation care in a hospital to avoid any long-term sequels from his injuries;
- Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Germain Rukuki;
- Ensure fairness of proceedings in the appeal procedure.
The international community has called on Germain’s release on several occasions:
- Statement by Protection International (26 April 2018)
- Statement by Amnesty International (27 April 2018)
- Statement by OMCT (25 June 2018)
- Statement by a group of United Nations experts (25 August 2017)
- Statement by European Parliament’s DROI Subcommittee chair Pier Antonio Panzeri (02 May 2018)
- Declaration by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the European Union (8 May 2018)
- European Parliament’s Resolution on Burundi mentioning Germain Rukuki (05 July 2018).
For media inquiries or interview, please contact ao [at] protectioninternational.org – +32 2 609 44 05.