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Rwanda: Court sentences three journalists to imprisonment

A court in the Kigali district of Nyarugenge Monday imposed jail sentences on Charles Kabonero, the publisher of the weekly Umuseso, Didas Gasana, its editor, and Richard Kayigamba, one of its reporters, after finding them guilty of invading privacy in one of their articles. Kabonero got 12 months, while the other two got six months.

“We firmly condemn these sentences, which deprive the newspaper’s staff of three of its most important members,” Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said. “The authorities clearly want to silence one of the country’s few independent publications.”

The three journalists were also ordered to pay a fine of 1 million Rwandan francs (1,800 US dollars). They have not yet been taken into custody to begin serving their sentences and have 30 days to appeal. The court did not, fortunately, order the newspaper’s closure. Kabonero and Gasana were already given 12-month suspended jail sentences in another case.

Date posted: February 23, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 133