Listen to music while browsing

Verdict in Ethiopia terrorism trial delayed

By AFP

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - An Ethiopian judge has again delayed the verdict in the case of 24 people charged with terrorism, including a prominent journalist and an opposition member, a defence lawyer said Thursday.

The verdict is now expected to be delivered on June 27, in order to give the judges time to "evaluate and pass a decision", lawyer Abebe Guta said.

Among those charged are prominent journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition member Andualem Arage. Both appeared in court in suits and smiled and waved to friends and family as they filed into the courtroom.

The courtroom was packed with family members, journalists and diplomats, including US Ambassador Donald Booth.

This is the second time the verdict has been delayed. Judges were expected to deliver a ruling on May 11, but said the defendants' case had not been transcribed in full.

Eskinder was honoured in New York last month with a "freedom to write" award from the US-based media watchdog PEN.

He was arrested last year after publishing articles asking whether the Arab Spring uprisings could have an influence in Ethiopia and questioning the arrests of Ethiopians under the country's anti-terrorism law.

He is one of 11 independent journalists and bloggers charged with terrorism since 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which says Ethiopia's media is one of the most restricted in the world.

Rights groups have accused Ethiopian officials of using anti-terrorism legislation to stifle peaceful dissent.

The 24 on trial were charged with terrorism in September 2011, and could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Comments found to contain email addresses and web links will be rejected

Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi, a former Shebab intelligence chief, speaks to journalists in Mogadishu on January 27, 2015 for the first time since his surrender last month.  By Mohamed Abdiwahab (AFP)

Somali Ex-shebab Chief Tells Others To Surrender

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 Mogadishu (AFP) - A former top commander from Somalia's Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels, Zakariya ...
Burundian army men present rebels they captured on January 6, 2015 in Cibitoke, following five days of fighting in the north-western part of the country.  By Esdras Ndikumana (AFP/File)

Rising Risk Of Burundi Election Violence, Rights Groups Warn

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 Addis Ababa (AFP) - Burundi is facing a mounting risk of unrest ahead of key elections and African l ...
show more stories