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

Photogallery US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

update Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid