Accessibility links

Ethiopian Court Sentences Five Opposition Figures

An Ethiopian court has issued prison sentences for five opposition figures convicted of planning to overthrow the government.

Ethiopian state media say the high court on Wednesday sentenced Girma Amare to a 16-year prison term, while giving 15-year sentences to co-defendants Kdist Bekele and Mebrato Kebede.

Two journalists - Wosenseged Gebrekidan and Dawit Kebede - received terms of four years each.

The five were among more than 100 Ethiopians arrested following protests over the country's disputed 2005 elections. The government used force to stop the protests, killing at least 193 people.

Human rights groups have condemned the charges and the trials as a sham.

Last month, the government pardoned 38 other opposition leaders and activists who had been sentenced to life in prison. There has been no word on whether those sentenced Wednesday will be pardoned as well.