Ethiopian Blogger and Activist Sentenced to five Years and four Months

Photo-based graphic of Zelalem Workagegnehu by Melody Sundberg. Image used with permission.

After a long trial pushed via controversy the Ethiopian Federal high court sentenced younger Ethiopian blogger and activist Zelalem Workagegnehu to five years and 4 months in prison.

Zelalem is a human rights endorse and a scholar who regularly contributed to the diaspora-run website DeBirhan.

He is expected to enchantment the selection.

Presently Zelalem is being held in Kilinto prison within the capital Addis Ababa.

But, his family and pals worry he will be transferred to Ziway jail, someone hundred sixty kilometers south of the Ethiopian capital.

On April 15, the Ethiopian Federal high court acquitted two of Zelalem’s co-defendants Yoantan Wolde and Bahiru Degu, who spent more than six hundred days incarcerated on terrorism charges critics allege have been politically encouraged.

Zelalem Workagenehu, but, was located responsible of “supporting terror” for an alleged link to Ginbot 7 motion, a pro-democracy political celebration based by Professor Berhanu Nega and labelled as a “terrorist enterprise” with the aid of the Ethiopian government in 2010.

He was charged with conspiring to overthrow the government (he helped facilitate a course on virtual protection) and disseminating fake data (he often wrote for diaspora-run web sites that remain one of the real sources of dependable facts on occasions in Ethiopia).

The choose reportedly said he become responsible of recruiting contributors to begin an Arab-Spring-like revolution in Ethiopia and co-facilitating a digital safety direction that the country prosecutor understood as “a path to terrorize Ethiopia.”

Zelalem in conjunction with 9 others were accused underneath Ethiopia’s Anti-Terror Proclamation, which became followed in July 2009. State officials defend the law, saying it’s miles modelled on present legislation in international locations inclusive of the UK.

Zelalem became first of all charged in October 2014, along with a set of nine different defendants that blanketed net users, competition politicians, and activists. thus, far, seven humans on this institution had been acquitted after spending more than a yr in jail.

Zelalem and his co-defendants informed the court that they’d experienced good sized torture in detention.

Even as in detention, Zelalem was compelled to sign confession letters. Due to beatings and torture, Zelalem says he is now stricken by a severe eye ache.

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