Accessibility links

Ethiopian Opposition Leaders Ordered Held Following Court Boycott

An Ethiopian judge has ordered a group of 131 detained opposition leaders, journalists and others to remain in custody after most boycotted a bail hearing.

Most lawyers for the group boycotted Wednesday's Ethiopian High Court hearing, saying prison authorities have not allowed them to meet with their clients.

The detained have been charged with treason and genocide for their alleged involvement in election protests that turned violent.

The judge says he will rule on the bail requests next week.

The accused include five journalists with the Voice of America's Amharic-language service in Washington. They were charged in absentia with plotting to overthrow the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopia's information minister told VOA English to Africa Service that the journalists have incited violence through their reports and he accused them of working with the opposition. VOA officials reject the charges, and say they are an attempt to intimidate VOA journalists.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.