French radio correspondent expelled

New York, June 14, 2006—Radio France Internationale’s correspondent in Rwanda was forced to leave the country on Saturday after the authorities refused to renew her visa, according to an RFI statement released yesterday. The government gave no explanation for the expulsion of Sonia Rolley, according to RFI Africa Director Henri Perilhou.

RFI condemned the decision and said it was all the more surprising since the Ministry of Information had just granted her press accreditation.

“It is outrageous that the government should expel a foreign correspondent without even offering an explanation,” said Ann Cooper, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “This serves as a grim reminder of the difficulties that many journalists face working in Rwanda.”

Rolley had been RFI’s correspondent in Rwanda since October 2004. Last fall, RFI launched programs on FM in the country, broadcasting in English as well as French.