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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid