Information hero

Hassan Ruvakuki

Hassan Ruvakuki is among those journalists who are not afraid to get close to the story. He works as a correspondent for the Swahili service of Radio France Internationale and as a reporter for the local station Bonesha FM. In November 2011, he took it upon himself to cover the formation of a new Burundian rebel group. He was subsequently accused by the authorities of being a member of the group and was sentenced to life imprisonment for “participating in terrorist activity”. His sentence was reduced to three years on appeal and the charge was downgraded to “participating in an association formed with the aim of attacking persons and property” after he won support from civil society organizations, African news organizations and international NGOs including Reporters Without Borders. In March last year he was released on parole after spending 15 months in prison. The name of this hero of the press has not yet been officially cleared.