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Two sons of opposition figure and activist arrested

May 18, 2013 1 comment

Ethiopian security forces arrested two sons of prominent opposition figure and internet activist Assegid Gebre Selassie in the northern town of Mekele, hauling them off to a remote location without showing a warrant, he told local magazine.
“My two sons are incarcerated at different prisons, one at illegal solitary confinement called 06, which is not even known by legal institutions,” Assegid said. He discovered the location days later, after contacting various responsible bodies, though his permission request to visit them was denied.
Ahferom Assegid and Yemane Assegid were probably detained on a charge of putting their father’s writings online, according to media report. No trial date had been set by late year.
According to the activist, “the security forces did not present an arrest warrant.” One of his sons who suffer from health problems was “not allowed to take his medication with him.”
A one-time TPLF apologist and leader, Assegid later became a firm opponent of the party and is now member of the opposition political party known as Arena Tigray for Democracy and sovereignty. He himself was imprisoned a number of times for his writings about human rights violations, sectarian discrimination, and repression of the political opposition.

Editor questioned over Meles’ widow

May 16, 2013 1 comment

Meles Zenawi, Azeb Mesfin

Ethiopian police in Addis Ababa questioned an editor for several hours yesterday in connection with a story published in October about the widow of the late Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi, according to news reports.
Officers in the Ethiopian Federal Police Crime Investigation Department interrogated Ferew Abebe, the former editor-in-chief of the private Amharic-language weekly Sendek, about his sources for the October 10, 2012, story that said Azeb Mesfin, Meles’ widow, had refused to leave the Ethiopian national palace nearly two months after the prime minister’s death, local journalists said. The story, which was widely covered in local and international press, cited government sources as saying that Meles’ successor, Hailemarian Desalegn, was unable to live in the palace.
Ferew refused to identify his sources and cited Ethiopian laws that guaranteed the rights of a journalist to keep sources confidential, local journalists said. According to the Ethiopian penal code, a court can compel journalists to reveal their sources if a crime has been committed against the constitutional order, national defense force, or security of the state, which constitutes clear and imminent danger. Read more…

Court dismisses blogger’s appeal

May 2, 2013 1 comment

An Ethiopian court on Thursday dismissed the appeal of blogger Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage who were jailed last year for terror-related offences. “The sentencing is still correct so there is no reduction,” said Supreme Court judge Dagne Melaku, confirming Eskinder’s jail term of 18 years and Andualem’s life sentence.
One of the charges — serving as a leader of a terrorist organisation — was dropped, but had no affect on sentencing. One of the charges — serving as a leader of a terrorist organisation — was dropped, but had no affect on sentencing. After the ruling, Eskinder made an emotional appeal to the court which was crowded with family, friends and diplomats.
“The truth will set us free,” he said. “We want the Ethiopian public to know that the truth will reveal itself, it’s only a matter of time.”
Both men are accused of links to the outlawed opposition group Ginbot 7. “The walls of justice will be demolished,” Andualem told AFP. Four other men also jailed for terror-related charges had their appeal quashed.
AFP via Global Post

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