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Breaking News, Ethiopian

Ethiopia sentences three magazine owners to jail

Published Posted on by | By TZTA News

Ethiopia sentences three magazine owners to jail

Addis Ababa (AFP) – Ethiopia has sentenced three magazine owners in absentia to more than three years in prison, a government spokesman said Wednesday, as a leading media rights group condemned the “shocking” ruling.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) named the three as Endalkachew Tesfaye of the Addis Guday magazine, Gizaw Taye of Lomi, and Fatuma Nuriya of Fact.

“The three have all been sentenced for three years and some months,” government spokesman Redwan Hussein told AFP.

RSF said the magazine owners, who are all outside the country, were found guilty on Tuesday of “inciting violent revolts, printing and distributing unfounded rumours and conspiring to unlawfully abolish the constitutional system of the country.”

Rights groups routinely accuse Ethiopia of using anti-terrorism laws to silence dissent and jail critics.

“The clearly outrageous grounds for their conviction are indicative of how a very authoritarian regime is manipulating the justice system,” RSF said in a statement.

“This type of persecution amounts to banning independent media in Ethiopia altogether.”

Several journalists have been jailed in Ethiopia, many under terrorism laws.

Those include two Swedish journalists sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2012. They were pardoned after serving 15 months.

Dissident blogger Eskinder Nega is currently serving an 18-year sentence for alleged links to the outlawed Ginbot 7 group, which calls for the violent overthrow of the ruling party.

Long Jail sentences for three magazine owners

RWB

They fled the country before the trial and were convicted in absentia

Ethiopia’s federal supreme court yesterday sentenced three magazine owners in absentia to more than three years in prison on charges of “inciting violent revolts, printing and distributing unfounded rumours and conspiring to unlawfully abolish the constitutional system of the country.”

The three, who fled the country when the prosecution was mooted, are Addis GudaypublisherEndalkachew TesfayeLomi publisher Gizaw Taye and Fact publisher Fatuma Nuriya. Their jail terms range from three years and three months to three years and eleven months.

Ethiopia’s justice ministry announced in August that it was bringing criminal charges against these three magazines and three other weeklies – EnquJano and Afro-Times.

“The sentences imposed on these three magazine owners are shocking,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “The clearly outrageous grounds for their conviction are indicative of how a very authoritarian regime is manipulating the justice system. This type of persecution amounts to banning independent media in Ethiopia altogether.”

The authorities have been stepping up their persecution of news and information providers for the past several months. Six bloggers and three journalists (including an Addis Guday reporter) have been held since April. After repeated postponements, their trial is now scheduled for 15 October.

In June, 18 journalists were fired from Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO), the main state-owned broadcaster in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, for supposedly having “narrow political views.” The dismissal order came from the government.

Ethiopia is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.


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Webmaster Savas Can Altun Teknoloji Bilgisayar Google s4v4s ASk Question Webmaster Sitesi Webmaster Forumu
Webmaster Savas Can Altun Teknoloji Bilgisayar Google s4v4s ASk Question Webmaster Sitesi Webmaster Forumu