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Media Rights Group Condemns Jail Sentence Given to Ethiopian Journalist


An international media advocacy group has condemned an eight-month jail sentence given to the editor of an Ethiopian weekly newspaper.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says it is "outraged" at the sentence handed down against Wosonseged Gebrekidan by Ethiopia's Federal High Court.

The group says Mr. Gebrekidan was convicted Tuesday of defaming former diplomat Habtemariam Seyoum in a 2002 opinion piece.

It says the journalist did not write the piece but was convicted under a 1992 proclamation that holds editors responsible for their newspaper's content.

The media advocacy group says he is one of at least 13 journalists jailed in Ethiopia since early last month.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has threatened to charge detained opposition leaders and journalists with treason for their alleged role in the violence during anti-government protests this year.