Annual Prison Census 2011 - Burundi
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||8 December 2011|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Annual Prison Census 2011 - Burundi, 8 December 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f0420b0b.html [accessed 25 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2011
Hassan Ruvakiki, Radio Bonesha
Imprisoned: November 28, 2011
National Intelligence Service agents arrested Ruvakiki, a reporter for the private broadcaster Radio Bonesha, as he covered a press conference in the capital, Bujumbura, during the Summit of Heads of States of the East African Community, according to local journalists.
Ruvakiki was held without access to legal counsel for two days before intelligence service spokesman Télésphore Bigiriman confirmed his arrest in an interview with Agence France-Presse, according to news reports. The journalist was interrogated about alleged interactions with the head of a rebel group, he told AFP. The arrest came amid a government clampdown on coverage of the group.
Radio Publique Africaine, another independent station, had recently aired an interview with Pierre Claver Kabirigi, a former police officer who claimed to head the newly formed rebel group Front for the Restoration of Democracy - Abanyagihugu, according to news reports. Other independent news outlets picked up the interview, prompting the government-controlled media regulatory agency to issue a directive forbidding coverage that "can undermine the security of the population," according to news reports.
On November 30, a judge charged Ruvakiki with "participating in acts of terrorism," according to news reports. Local journalists told CPJ they believed the charges against Ruvakiki were intended to intimidate critical news media. Ruvakiki was also a local correspondent for the Swahili service of the French government-funded Radio France Internationale.