Mali's media are among Africa's most open. Freedom of speech and of the press is guaranteed in the constitution and is generally respected. Several laws provide for substantial penalties, including imprisonment, for libel and public injury, but they have never been used to prosecute journalists. However, in October, three reporters from a private radio station in Segou were imprisoned for several weeks after they were accused of criminal defamation. Equipment from the station was also temporarily confiscated in retaliation for their coverage of a local dispute. The state controls the only television station and a number of radio stations, but all present diverse views, including those critical of the government. At least 40 private newspapers operate freely, and more than 100 independent radio stations, including community stations transmitting in regional languages, broadcast throughout the country. Access to foreign radio and television transmissions and to the Internet is unrestricted.