BACKGROUND FOR: Germain Rukuki , Jailed for 32 years for defending human rights.
Before his arrest, Germain Rukuki liked nothing more than playing with his sons, now aged six and seven. He also loved music. Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” is a favorite – an apt choice, as it turns out.
One July morning in 2017, Germain and his wife, Emelyne Mupfasoni, were woken by banging on their door. Dozens of members of the security forces had piled into their compound. Emelyne was just weeks away from giving birth to their third child. Officers interrogated the couple, both workers with NGOS. They arrested Germain and transferred him to Ngozi prison in northern Burundi where he is today.
On April 26th 2018, Germain was found guilty of many fake charges, including “rebellion” and “threatening State security”. His previous association with the NGO ACATBurundi (Action by Christians for Abolition of Torture) was used against him. ACAT-Burundi had been shut down in 2016 for allegedly “tarnishing the image of the country.” But the prosecution’s “evidence” during the trial was an email Germain had written to them when they were still legal. Germain was sentenced to 32 years in prison. He has never seen his three-year-old son. “ For how long must my husband suffer this injustice?” asks Emelyne.
Tell Burundi to free Germain now.
Sample Letters and addresses to use
You may use all or part of the sample letter, insert your own sentences after reading the overview above, or copy and paste the letter into an email message. Handwritten letters can be very powerful, but other methods of communication are also effective.
Ambassador Gaudence Sindayigaya Embassy of the Republic of Burundi
2233 Wisconsin Ave NW #408
Washington, DC 20007 (today’s date)
Dear Ambassador, I call on you for the immediate and unconditional release of Germain Rukuki. Germain has dedicated his life and work to truth and justice. He is also a dedicated father, yet because of his commitment to what’s fair, he has never seen his own three-year-old son.
Germain is serving a 32-year prison sentence for defending human rights, after a court found him guilty on three charges, including “rebellion”, in an unfair trial.
Germain’s little boy wants his father back home. Please, help free Germain today. I will be watching this case closely.
Yours sincerely, Your first and last name
(it is most effective to have a return address here, but if you are uncomfortable with that, at least put your city, USA).
This letter in Word format here or see below to download it for copying, editing or printing
WRITE TO THE AMBASSADOR OF BURUNDI
Ambassador Gaudence Sindayigaya Embassy of the Republic of Burundi 2233 Wisconsin Ave NW #408 Washington, DC 20007
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Salutation: Dear Ambassador)
HELP KEEP GERMAIN’S SPIRTS STRONG
Send your messages of support to Germain or his wife Emelyne, including the Kirundi words: Komera Turikumwe! (“Stay strong, we are together!”).
You are welcome to use a greeting card you have at home, as long as it does not have any religious or alcohol references on it. Send it to:
c/o Amnesty International Burundi Team Regional Office for East Africa, the Horn & Great Lakes P.O Box 1527-00606 Nairobi, Kenya (postage is $1.20 or a forever international stamp)
OR email the message to: Email: email@example.com
Letter writing Tips download below