Jun 282012
ethiopian opposition leader andualem aragie and journalist eskinder nega who are in prison on terrorism charges

and­ualem aragie & eskinder nega

Zenad­dis — An Ethiopian Court finds oppo­si­tion party leader And­ualem Aragie, promi­nent inter­net jour­nal­ist Eskinder Nega and 22 oth­ers guilty of incite­ment an Arab Spring kind of upris­ing to cre­ate pub­lic chaos.

Eight of the defen­dants have attended the trial while the rest were found guilty in absentia.

The judge, at the third bench of the Fed­eral High Court, Ende­shaw Adane handed the deci­sion after post­pon­ing the ver­dict twice.

The defen­dants were held in deten­tion since Sep­tem­ber 2011. Some of them have reported being beaten while in prison.
The trial which has been closely watched by the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity has attracted mem­bers of the diplo­matic com­mu­nity and other human rights activists. The U.S. Ambas­sador to Addis has been reported to have attended most of the hear­ings.
Eskinder Nega has been awarded the PEN Free­dom to Write award. His wife Serkalem Fasil received the award on his behalf.
Ethiopia has con­victed scores of jour­nal­ists on ter­ror­ism charges. Among them two Swedish jour­nal­ists were handed an 11 year prison sen­tence.
Judge hands out prison sen­tences on July 13.
The defen­dants who attended the trial were:
And­ualem Aragie Wale

And­ualem Ayalew Gelaw

Eskinder Nega Fenta

Kin­femichael Debebe Bereded (aka Abebe Kesto)

Mitiku Damte Worku

Nat­nael Mekon­nen Gebrekidan

Yeshi­was Yehu­nalem (Captain)

Yohannes Terefe Kebede
Tried in absentia:

Abebe Belew

Abebe Gelaw

Abiy Tekle Mariam

Alebel Amare (Colonel)

Andar­gachew Tsige

Berhanu Nega (PhD)

Desalegn Aragie

Elias Molla (aka Elias Terit)

Ephrem Madebo

Fasil Yenealem

Mes­fin Aman

Mes­fin Negash

Nea­men Zeleke

Obang Metho

Wube Robi

Zelele Tsega Selassie

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