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July 13, 2012

Ethiopia Jails Journalists, Activists for 'Terrorism'

by VOA News

At least 20 Ethiopians, including journalists and opposition figures, have been sentenced to prison on terrorism charges, after a trial denounced by human rights groups.

In sentences handed down Friday, prominent journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega was jailed for 18  years, while Andualem Arage, a member of the Unity for Democracy and Justice party, was given life in prison.

Many of the others were sentenced in absentia, but both Eskinder and Andualem are in Ethiopian custody.

Last month, Ethiopia's high court convicted a total of 24 people under the country's broad anti-terrorism law, which rights groups say is being used to jail critics of the government.

Ethiopian officials deny that accusation.

Human Rights Watch says a total of 34 people have been convicted under the law, including 11 journalists and four opposition supporters.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.