News / Africa

Ethiopian Convictions Raise Concern in Washington

The defense lawyer for 24 people found guilty of terrorism in Ethiopia, Abebe Guta, talks to reporters on June 27, 2012 after a court in Addis Ababa found his clients guilty on charges of terrorism. The defense lawyer for 24 people found guilty of terrorism in Ethiopia, Abebe Guta, talks to reporters on June 27, 2012 after a court in Addis Ababa found his clients guilty on charges of terrorism.
x
The defense lawyer for 24 people found guilty of terrorism in Ethiopia, Abebe Guta, talks to reporters on June 27, 2012 after a court in Addis Ababa found his clients guilty on charges of terrorism.
The defense lawyer for 24 people found guilty of terrorism in Ethiopia, Abebe Guta, talks to reporters on June 27, 2012 after a court in Addis Ababa found his clients guilty on charges of terrorism.
VOA News
The United States says it is "deeply concerned" about the Ethiopian government's conviction of 24 people, including several journalists and opposition members, on terrorism related charges.

Journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition member Andualem Arage were among those found guilty Wednesday of charges including the encouragement of terrorism and high treason.

The men, 16 of whom were convicted in absentia, could face life in prison under Ethiopia's harsh anti-terror legislation. But prosecutors on Wednesday suggested jail terms of five years to life when they are sentenced next month.

State Department Victoria Nuland says such convictions raise "serious questions" about the intent of Ethiopia's anti-terror laws, which critics say are used to stifle dissent.

Rights group Amnesty International also condemned the conviction, saying the men were found guilty on "trumped up" charges." The group says freedom of expression is being "systematically destroyed by a government targeting any dissenting voice."

The defendants were accused of having ties to an outlawed political party called Ginbot Seven, which the government has labelled a terrorist group. Some were also accused of trying to incite unrest by writing about the anti-government protests that swept North Africa last year.

Ethiopia's government denies using anti-terror laws passed in 2009 to clamp down on opposition figures and journalists, saying their arrests have nothing to do with their reporting or political affiliations.

Rights groups say more than 150 opposition politicians and supporters have been detained since last year on terrorism-related charges.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: tazabiw from: us
June 29, 2012 2:29 AM
The govt is paranoid, simply stated.


by: Ayele from: Vancouver
June 28, 2012 6:17 PM
It appears to me that the world has stopped being bothered by human rights abuses. If that was not the case, Meles has done them all, killing an armed protesters by the hundreds, imprisoning respected opposition politicians (who defeated him in the ballot box), stuffing ballots, you name it...In stead, this killer is being invited to sit with respected western leaders. Please understand, of the countless miscarriages of justice he commits, Ethiopians are sickened by this joke of inviting him to reputable meetings. He should be invited to the court in Hague and no where else!


by: Zemen from: Vancouver
June 28, 2012 12:56 PM
Meles, the Ethiopian Prime Minster, is a yes man to US. To return this favor the US is willing to pass his murderous reign, often by keeping quite and when things really get from bad to worse by saying that they are concerned. They would love their yes man dictator to say in power for as long as possible saying yes sir. Who cares for the 85 Million Ethiopians that have to live under his terror.


by: John from: Sleepless in Seattle
June 28, 2012 9:13 AM
US is "concerned" = We don't like it but we will look the other way, just like how we have looked the other when dictator Meles Zenawi conducted genocides in the Ogaden and Gambella, invasions of neighboring states (Somalia and Eritrea) and the shocking human rights abuses against its own citizens, including the killings of 193 unarmed Ethiopian civilians in the capital and the massacres of over 400 Anuaks in Gambella.

When will the United States condemn the Ethiopian tyrant? Is this tyrant above US values and history that the great US forefathers envisioned? How can a one-man-regime who's been in power for over 21 years not be condemned for his numerous human rights violations? Is it because this ruthless and vicious dictator is a US puppet? When will you side with the 500,000 Americans of Ethiopian origin and Ethiopian-Americans by condemning this tyrant? For christ sake, I am ashamed to say I am a US citizen. Disgusted!!

In Response

by: michael from: south africa
June 30, 2012 5:26 AM
First and for most speak for your self we the people of Ethiopia don't need any outsider to tell us how to run our own country, and please don't make comment like ur country is so holly your country is one of the reasons why Africa is like this. US is a great country but they are also a country that classified South Africa's ANC as a terrorist organization, bombed Japan with atomic bomb and supported Egypt's Mubarak for years and many more, at the moment even though he is not the best but i believe Melese is the right leader for my country.

In Response

by: Human-R8s-Defender from: U.S.
June 29, 2012 3:11 PM
Mulugeta,

There’re a couple things that you need to be aware of – for sure:

a) just because you can join words, that doesn't mean your statement makes sense. “….be ashamed of yourself more than being a US citizen…” what the hell does that mean?!?!?!?

b) Did you say "almighty US" can do anything?!?! ...really?!?! if the U.S. congress is aware of what’s going on and care enough to take action, ..... all they need to do is - STOP THE ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT FROM WASHINGTON and stop the BILLION DOLLAR PER YEAR aid money. Then, I'll give Meleses regime a month (if not less) max - to stay in power.

You're acting too tough knowing (or not) that over 90% of your government annual budget - including your salary (as agent) -comes from foreign aid. Someday, if U.S. turns its face on your regime, your demise is quick and inevitable.

Once a Repressive Regime, always a Repressive Regime. so, ... join us - DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHT DEFENDER - and be on the right side of history!!

In Response

by: Alem
June 28, 2012 8:53 PM
Mulugeta: Are you still at the consulate? You are right Ethiopia is a sovereign state. But it is ruled by a tyrant. And tyrants should not be allowed to hide behind sovereignty!

In Response

by: Mulugeta
June 28, 2012 11:59 AM
John, you better be ashamed of yourself more than being a US citizen.
Is there any one who ever condemned the human rights violations of the US government either based on religion or colour?
Are you trying to say the "almighty" US can do any thing it wants agains a sovereign country? No more!!!
If you think you are big because you are a US citizen, shame on you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid