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Court imposes prison sentences on three "Rai Al Shaab" journalists

(RSF/IFEX) - On 15 July 2010, a Khartoum criminal court sentenced three senior members of the opposition daily "Rai Al Shaab" (People's Opinion) to jail terms ranging from two to five years on charges of "publishing incorrect information" and "attacking the state with a view to undermining the constitutional system."

Deputy editor Abuzur Al Amin was given a five-year sentence while editor Ashraf Abdelaziz, and political editor Altahir Ibrahim received two-year sentences. The fourth journalist on trial, Ramadan Mahgoub, was acquitted. All four had been held since May.

The court also ordered the newspaper's closure and the seizure of all the assets of the company that owns it.

"These three journalists have been convicted just for doing their job," Reporters Without Borders said. "These verdicts are unjust and are clearly aimed at silencing the opposition press in Sudan. We firmly condemn this kind of intimidation."

Their lawyers said they would appeal. Most of the country's newspapers decided not to bring out an issue on 15 July in protest.

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