Court sentences three journalists to prison
"We firmly condemn these sentences, which deprive the newspaper's staff of three of its most important members," Reporters Without Borders 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 (US$1,800). 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 previously given 12-month suspended jail sentences in another case.
Reporters Without Borders has written to French President Nicolas Sarkozy drawing his attention to the press freedom situation in Rwanda and asking him to raise it with his counterpart, Paul Kagame, during the official visit to Rwanda that he is due to begin in three days.
What other IFEX members are saying