In July 2017, the human rights defender Germain Rukuki was arrested in his home and later charged with “rebellion”, “threatening state security”, “attacking the authority of the State” and “participation in an insurrectionist movement”, although no conclusive evidence was ever presented to back the prosecution’s counts. Four years later, Germain has been released from prison.
During these five years, many things have happened. We have prepared this timeline of the entire history of Germain’s case as a reminder of the work done to enable Germain’s freedom. His story is emblematic of the unjust threats and retaliation that many Burundian human rights defenders face, and with one of the harshest and longest sentence ever imposed on any HRD in the country’s history, the previous Burundian Government used Germain’s case to dissuade others from carrying out human rights work.