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UN Criticizes Sudan for Jailing Journalists Who Wrote Rape Story

Margot Wallstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in charge of Sexual Violences (2010 file photo)

United Nations official says 'rapists - not reporters - must face criminal charges'

The United Nations has criticized the Sudanese government for imprisoning journalists who reported on the alleged rape of an activist in the country.

Last week, a Sudanese court sentenced a journalist, Amal Habani, to one month in prison for writing about the alleged rape of a female political activist by Sudanese security forces. Another journalist, Fatima Ghazali, who wrote about the incident received the same sentence earlier in July.

A senior U.N. official, Margot Wallstrom, said Wednesday that "rapists - not reporters - must face criminal charges," adding that Sudanese journalists have a right to report on sexual violence, regardless of the facts of the case.

Sudanese authorities strongly deny the rape allegations and accuse the reporters of writing inaccurate reports.

Several other Sudanese journalists face similar charges for reporting on the incident.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.