Unrelenting court gives journalist three-year jail term on appeal

first_img Organisation Reporters Without Borders is deeply disappointed to learn that an appeal court in the central city of Gitega today imposed a three-year jail sentence on the journalist Hassan Ruvakuki instead of overturning his conviction.The court changed the charge on which Ruvakuki is convicted to “participation in an association formed with the aim of attacking persons and property.” In June, a lower court sentenced him to life imprisonment on a charge of terrorism.Reporters Without Borders regards today’s decision as a sign that certain Burundian officials were determined to punish Ruvakuki at all costs. Several sources in Gitega reported that the appeal court had been under heavy pressure from the state security apparatus not to acquit him.In response to this incomprehensible verdict, Reporters Without Borders is launching a petition for the release of Ruvakuki, who was working for Bonesha FM, a local radio station, and the Swahili service of Radio France Internationale at the time of his arrest in November 2011. Sign the petition.Ruvakuki was accused of complicity with a rebel group when all he did was his duty as a journalist to anticipate the news. Shortly before his arrest, he went to neighbouring Tanzania to cover a Burundian rebel group that was being formed there.Full information about the Ruvakuki case.Read Radio France Internationale’s reaction (in French) to Ruvakuki’s conviction.Find out more about media freedom in BurundiPicture: Hassan Ruvakuki (Alexandre Niyungeko) January 8, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Unrelenting court gives journalist three-year jail term on appeal Burundian appeal court upholds prison sentences for four journalists November 27, 2020 Find out more BurundiAfrica RSF_en BurundiAfrica Reports to go further Newscenter_img News Help by sharing this information The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Four Burundian journalists complete 12 months in arbitrary detention Receive email alerts October 21, 2020 Find out more June 5, 2020 Find out more News Follow the news on Burundilast_img read more

Reporters Without Borders pays tribute to women journalists under threat worldwide

first_img Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” Five women journalists have been killed doing their job since 8 March 2004. Florence Aubenas is being held hostage in Iraq, while four others are imprisoned in Turkey, Maldives, Rwanda and Iran. Reporters Without Borders pays tribute to women who suffer for the freedom of expression. Follow the news on Iraq As the world celebrates International Women’s Day on 8 March, a French reporter is being held hostage in Iraq and four others are imprisoned elsewhere. Five women journalists have been killed doing their jobs since 8 March 2004.Reporters Without Borders pays tribute to these women journalists, cyberdissents and Internet-users who, risking their lives and freedom have carried on, for us, their work of informing the public. “We call on the international community to campaign for the release of women held in Iraq, Rwanda, the Maldives, Turkey and Iran. Most cases of murders of women journalists have been carried out with complete impunity. Governments must act for justice to be done.”Thirty-eight of the 636 journalists killed doing their jobs since 1992 have been women.A woman held hostage in Iraq Florence Aubenas (picture), 43, veteran reporter for the French daily Libération, was abducted on 5 January 2005 with her Iraqi fixer, Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi. She had been in Baghdad since 16 December 2004. An award-winning journalist, Florence Aubenas has covered conflicts for the French daily since 1986, in Rwanda, Kosovo, Algeria and Afghanistan.Three journalists deprived of their liberty Young Austrian journalist Sandra Bakutz (picture) was arrested by Turkish police in Istanbul on 10 February 2005 accused of “membership of a banned organisation”. She faces 10-15 years in prison. She had travelled to Turkey to cover the trial of around 100 extreme left militants. Fathimath Nisreen (picture), 25, has been deprived of her freedom since January 2002, for working with online newsletter Sandhaanu, which had criticised human rights abuses in the Maldives. She was condemned to 10 years imprisonment for defamation. She has since been exiled to Feeail Island where she is serving a reduced sentence of five years banishment.Police in Iran on 2 March 2005 arrested weblogger Najmeh Oumidparva, (http://www.faryadebeseda.persianblog.com – Dawn of Freedom) wife of weblogger Mohamad Reza Nasab Abdolahi, who is also imprisoned. She is three months pregnant and has been told she could spend ten days in prison. Days before her arrest, she had posted on her weblog a message written by her husband shortly before his arrest in which he claimed the right to free expression and said he was “waiting for police handcuffs”.In Rwanda, Tatiana Mukakibibi, presenter and producer of entertainment programmes for Radio Rwanda, has been imprisoned since October 1996. She worked with the priest André Sibomana, former editor of Rwanda’s oldest newspaper Kinyamateka. She is being held in extremely harsh conditions in Ntenyo, Gitarama. She has been accused of murder but Reporters Without Borders has been able to show that there is no concrete evidence against her.In the last few months, some dozen women journalists have been arrested worldwide. They include cyberjournalist Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh who has spent a month in prison in Iran for contributing to reformist websites. Her colleague Fereshteh Ghazi was imprisoned between 28 October and 7 December 2004 for articles she wrote. She came out of prison physically and mentally weakened.Women journalists killed in Somalia, Belarus, Nicaragua and Iraq Kate Peyton (picture), 39, correspondent for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Somalia, was fatally wounded on 9 February 2005, when unknown gunmen fired a bullet into her back as she was entering a Mogadishu hotel to meet the speaker of the transitional parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden.Iraqi journalist Raeda Mohammed Wageh Wazzan, 40, was found dead on 25 February 2005 in Mosul, northern Iraq, five days after being kidnapped by masked men. A presenter on regional public television Iraqiya, she died from a bullet wound to the head. An Iraqi group linked to al-Queda claimed responsibility for her murder but it has not been possible to check the validity of their claim.Journalist Veronika Cherkasova was found murdered at her home in Minsk on October 2004, while she was investigating arms sales from Belarus to Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Despite evidence to the contrary, police insist on treating it as a crime of passion. The investigator has been harassing her 15-year-old son.In Nicaragua, María José Bravo, 26, was killed in November 2004, while covering clashes close to a polling station. In Iran, the legal system is still obstructing the process of bringing the murderers to justice of Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi (picture), 54. She died in Tehran on 11 July 2003 after officials interrogating her in a Tehran prison inflicted vicious blows to her head.Women journalists harassed because of their investigative reportingReporter Anna Politkovskaya of the Russian daily Novaya Gazeta has suffered constant threats and obstruction to her investigations, particularly in Chechnya. In September 2004, she was poisoned, probably by Russian secret services, as she tried to reach Beslan to cover the school massacre there. In the United States, New York Times reporter Judith Miller (picture) faces up to 18 months in prison for “contempt of court” after refusing to reveal her sources of information to the courts in connection with her revelations about White House manoeuvring.Independent Colombian journalist Claudia Julieta Duque has received death threats since September 2004 because of her reporting on the murder of journalist and humorist Jaime Garzón.Women who fight for husbands who have been imprisoned or disappearedIn Cuba, The Women in White, wives of the 75 political prisoners arrested in March 2003, demonstrate silently every Sunday in the streets of Havana to demand the release of their husbands.Wives of imprisoned journalists in China and Burma regularly brave official harassment to visit their husbands, bringing them food and medicine that the authorities deny them. They also risk reprisals by speaking to the international press. Zeng Li, the wife cyberdissident Huang Qi lost her job and her home as a result of police harassment.In Sierra Leone, Isatou Kamara, whose husband has languished in prison in Freetown since October 2004, never stops updating international organisations about her journalist husband’s plight.In France, Osange Kieffer and Fabienne Nérac, whose husbands are missing, respectively in Cote d’Ivoire and Iraq, continue the fight to find them. “Everyone tends to want me to accept that he has been killed, but I do not agree, I must continue fighting. I need proof, so do my children,” said the wife of Fred Nérac, who went missing near Basra in March 2003. IraqMiddle East – North Africa News Organisation to go further RSF_en Receive email alerts News Help by sharing this information December 28, 2020 Find out more News IraqMiddle East – North Africa February 15, 2021 Find out more RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” News March 7, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders pays tribute to women journalists under threat worldwide Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more