Germain Rukuki, former employee at ACAT-Burundi (Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture), was arrested by the Service International du Renseignement (SNR, the National Intelligence Service) in Burundi on the 13th of July at 6 am.
Since then, Mr Rukuki has stayed in detention at the SNR’s locale, where neither his family nor his lawyers can contact or visit him. The detainment at SNR is not supposed to be postponed more than two weeks and, although his transfer was announced yesterday, he was not presented before the prosecutorial authorities. According to the existing criminal code procedures in Burundi, Germain Rukuki should be transferred no later tomorrow (27th July) to the prosecutorial authorities in Ntahangwa, but the family fears that this will be again postponed or, even worse, that he will not be transferred to the prosecutorial authorities, leading to his “disappearance”.
Since last February, Germain has been an employee at AJCB (Association des Juristes Catholiques du Burundi) as part of a joint project between Protection International and AJCB. Since 2015, Germain has received training by Protection International on protection techniques for Human Rights Defenders as part of a former partnership with ACAT-Burundi, before Burundi’s government censored the organization.
To this day, no charges have been declared against Germain, except for non-substantiate charges of “breach of security”.
Protection International is profoundly concerned by the situation and demands the immediate release of Mr Rukuki. We also call for our partners and Human Rights protection organisations to join our demand.
For more information please contact:
Sandrine Grenier, Head of Advocacy and Outreach
Click here to download the statement