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Ethiopia Opens Treason Trial Against Opposition Leaders


Ethiopia has opened a treason trial against a group of jailed opposition leaders, with prosecutors accusing them of trying to overthrow the government.

The prosecutors laid out their case Tuesday against dozens of opposition figures as well as journalists and civil society activists, all on trial for their alleged role in violence that erupted last year during protests over disputed elections.

Prosecutors say the defendants conspired with an Eritrean-backed rebel group to foment a coup.

Amnesty International says the defendants are prisoners of conscience who have not used or advocated violence. It calls the charges against them, which include outrages against the Constitution, armed conspiracy, and genocide, absurd.

Five VOA journalists were among those charged with treason in absentia. But the charges against them have since been dropped.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.