On March 6, 2013, Mr. Hassan Ruvakuki, a Burundian journalist and Swahili language correspondent for Radio France Internationale (RFI), was freed after serving over 460 days in prison, having been in jail since November 2011.
The African Media Initiative (AMI) welcomes Mr. Ruvakuki’s release. AMI remains firmly committed to work towards the immediate and unconditional liberation of all journalists who are detained for exercising the sacrosanct duty to inform and the universal human right of freedom of expression.
AMI engaged the Burundian authorities on Mr. Ruvakuki’s case and the AMI Board of Directors and management acknowledge the openness of all parties as we approached these exchanges. We maintained candid and constructive engagement including at the 5th African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF), the continent’s only annual gathering of media owners and operators held in Dakar, Senegal in November, 2012. This enabled AMI to advocate heavily on behalf of Mr. Ruvakuki and African journalists who remain in detention.
AMI encourages all governments and non-state actors across the continent to follow Burundi’s lead and review the cases of all journalists in detention. AMI stands ready to engage all stakeholders on these cases as it simultaneously works towards improved ethics and leadership in Africa’s media landscape.