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DROI chair Panzeri calls on authorities to release human rights defender Rukuki

16-05-2018

Following the conviction to 32 years in prison for human rights defender Germain Rukuki, the Chair of the Human Rights Subcommittee, Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT) stated:

"I am gravely concerned at the harsh verdict on Germain Rukuki who faced charges of "rebellion" and "threatening the security of the State". While concrete evidence of guilt are lacking, this sentence appears as resulting from the authorities' will to criminalise the legitimate activity of Mr Rukuki, and by doing so, to deter other human rights defenders to work in Burundi. Mr Rukuki must be released immediately, his legal rights must be respected and authorities should reverse his conviction."