Rwanda rejects British legislators’ call to free officers

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Rwanda’s government has protested a call by six British legislators for President Paul Kagame to free high-ranking army officers, saying the two men were convicted of serious crimes.

Rwanda’s Military High Court sentenced Col. Tom Byabagamba and retired Brig. Gen. Frank Rusagara, in 2016 to 21 and 20 years in prison, respectively. Charges against them included inciting insurrection and tarnishing the government’s image. Throughout the trial, the two maintained their innocence. They were arrested in 2014.

The two men are said to be in failing health and family members have said they hope the government will show mercy ahead of a Commonwealth summit to be held in Rwanda next year.

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