Afghan Court Sentences French Journalist on Espionage Charge

Associated Press

Afghanistan's revolutionary court today convicted French journalist Alain Guillo of spying and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Afghan's official Kabul radio, monitored in Islamabad, said the 45-year-old photojournalist entered Afghanistan nine times "to prepare video films and cassettes, to carry out spying activities and to strengthen relations with armed opposition groups."

In Paris, Claude Malhuret, the French minister for human rights, said he hopes that Guillo will be expelled and allowed to return home. "The ordeal this journalist has undergone while simply doing his job is inadmissible, and its prolongation could not be accepted very long," Malhuret said.

He said other Frenchmen convicted in Afghanistan in similar circumstances have been allowed to return home.

Kabul radio said two other people also had been sentenced to prison in the case. It identified them as Mohammed Nazer and Sayed Abdul Samad.

Guillo, a film maker whose works have been distributed by Sygma-Television of Paris, was captured Sept. 12 after entering Afghanistan with guerrillas of the Afghan National Front.

Afghan guerrillas often take Western journalists into Afghanistan illegally to report on the fighting with government forces supported by Soviet troops. Western correspondents are rarely given permission to enter Afghanistan.

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