Reporters Without Borders takes note of journalist Saidat Mukakibibi’s release today in Kigali on completing her three-year jail sentence on a charge of “attacking state security.”
A reporter for the bimonthly Umurabyo who had been held since 8 July 2010, Mukakibibi was originally sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of inciting civil disobedience, causing divisions and denying the 1994 genocide of the Tutsis. But the charges and sentence were reduced on appeal.
Umurabyo editor Agnès Uwimana Nkusi, who was arrested with her, continues to be detained because, on appeal, she was given a one-year jail term for defaming President Paul Kagame in addition to three years for attacking state security.
“We are relieved to learn that Saidat Mukakibibi has finally been released but we point out that her detention was unjust and should never have taken place,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“We now call for Agnès Uwimana Nkusi’s immediate release because she is in very poor health and does not deserve to be in prison. If her conviction on the defamation charge were overturned, she could be reunited with her loved-ones at once.”