Home | News    Sunday 13 November 2011

Ethiopia: More journalists, politicians charged with terrorism


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

November 12, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – A court in Ethiopia on Thursday charged 24 people, including opposition politicians and journalists, using the East African country’s controversial anti-terrorism legislation.

Dissident blogger Eskinder Nega and opposition party politicians, Andualem Arage and Natnael Mekonnen both members of the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party were among those charged at Addis Ababa Federal High Court.

Eight of the defendants appeared before court, while the others are to be tried in absentia.

Government spokesman, Shimeles Kemal, said the suspects are accused of conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks against state in collaboration with an exiled opposition movement, Ginbot 7.

Addis Ababa recently branded the group a terrorist organisation along with two other home grown political groups, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).

Kemal further said they were involved in a terrorist plot backed by neighbour and former province Eritrea. The two countries have a tense relationship as an unresolved border conflict dating back to 2000 and accuse each other of backing the opposition and rebels in each others territory.

"They have received from the Eritrean government weapons and explosives for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities in Ethiopia," the spokesperson told AFP news agency.

If convicted, the suspects could face the possibility of life imprisonment under the Horn of Africa nation’s 2009 anti-terrorism laws.

The latest charges brought the number of journalists charged under country’s terror law since June to 10, according to research by press freedom campaign group, Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ).

"Ethiopia’s terrorism charges against journalists critical of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government are becoming vague and ludicrous," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes.

"The authorities have failed to provide any hard evidence and should drop these charges immediately."

According to CPJ, Ethiopia’s “repression” over the last decade has driven the highest number of journalists into exile in the world. The country trails only Eritrea as Africa’s leading jailer of journalists.

International human rights groups criticise Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of containing a definition of terrorism, which is too broad and vague leaving it open to political manipulation.

They further accuse Ethiopian authorities of increasing the practice of using the law to detain and intimidate peaceful opposition and to punish critical journalists.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Sudan’s uprising is putting the future of al-Bashir’s rule at stake 2019-01-18 01:30:38 By Adil Babikir The buzzword in Sudan these days is tasgut bass. The catchphrase, which translates into “you must go, no matter what”, is echoing in demonstrations across the country calling on (...)

Al-Bashir’s pickaxe underlies economic downfall in Sudan 2019-01-07 19:49:21 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman The destructive pickaxe of Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir and his Corrupt Entourage for the three decades are responsible for the Economic Downfall in Sudan and Not due to (...)

The Sudanese Tsunami 2019-01-07 08:01:14 The Only Way Forward is for Bashir to Step Down and a New Interim Democratic Arrangement Put in Place By Yasir Arman On Sunday, 6th of January, Sudan has witnessed one of the biggest (...)


Latest Press Releases

Ethnic Murle politicians say enough to cattle raiding 2018-12-28 09:32:00 December 27, 2018 (JUBA) - Murle political leaders in Buma state have vowed to end the practice of cattle raiding and child abduction by individuals in the community. Jodi Jonglei, who is also (...)

CEPO: South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA): Stop politics of split and focus on R-ARCSS implementation 2018-12-26 09:53:29 26th December, 2018. South Sudan Opposition Alliance internal leadership change frication is disturbing and demoralizing public opinion. The big question CEPO is raising, will SSOA be a strong (...)

Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)


Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.