Ethiopia jails journalists, members of the opposition

July 13, 2012

Journalist Eskinder Nega was jailed for 18 years, while opposition member Andualem Arage was given life. Both were in court to hear their sentences. Of the 22 others, 16 were convicted in absentia, having fled into exile.

They were accused of links to the US-based group Ginbot 7, considered a terrorist group under Ethiopian law, and pronounced guilty of terrorism charges at the end of June.

Andualem Arage was given a life sentence, purportedly because of the “heaviness of the case.” He was also found guilty of serving as a “leader or decision maker of a terrorist organisation.”

Ethiopia passed an anti-terror law in 2009 which gives the security apparatus carte blanche in suppressing dissent.

Eskinder Nega was detained after the rigged elections in 2005, but continued to post material critical of the government on the internet.