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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid