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Burundi: Amnesty urges release of anti-torture activist

Germain Rukuki serving 32-year sentence for campaign against torture, faces risk of coronavirus infection in crowded jail

Anadolu Agency staff  | 24.11.2020 - Update : 24.11.2020
Burundi: Amnesty urges release of anti-torture activist


Amnesty International launched a campaign Tuesday demanding the unconditional release of a Burundian activist serving a more than three-decade sentence for a campaign against torture.

“Germain was arrested in connection to his previous work at a local organization called Action by Christians for Abolition of Torture (ACAT-Burundi), which had been shut down by the government,” the rights group said of his arrest July 13, 2017. “

On 26 April 2018, he was found guilty of ‘rebellion,’ ‘threatening State security’, ‘participation in an insurrectional movement’ and ‘attack on the authority of the State’ and sentenced to 32 years in prison,” it noted.

Germain is currently imprisoned at “the massively overcrowded Ngozi Prison,” that puts him at high risk of contracting COVID-19, according to the rights group.

“He is forced to share a cell with 120 inmates, with only two showers and two toilets,” said Amnesty International.

“Since 2015, many other human rights defenders, opposition leaders and journalists have fled Burundi and those that have remained have faced threats and reprisals. Germain has appealed the decision of the court; we must call for his release,” it added.

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