Prominent Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega has been jailed for 18 years after publishing a column questioning the arrests of several journalists. Last month, Nega and 23 others were found guilty of violating the country’s anti-terrorism legislation.
Ethiopian courts have charged the group with having links to U.S.-based opposition group Ginbot 7, one of three organizations labeled as a terrorist group in the legislation. "The court has given due considerations to the charges and the sentences are appropriate," Judge Endeshaw Adane said of the trial.
Amnesty International, International Press Institute and other human rights groups across the globe have publically denounced the trial.
"The imprisonment…is emblematic of the Ethiopian government's determination to gag any dissenting voice in the country,” said Amnesty’s Ethiopia researcher Claire Beston.
Five days prior to his arrest Nega wrote, "Freedom is partial to no race. Freedom has no religion. Freedom favors no ethnicity."
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(Photo: Courtesy BBC News)
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