(Photo: Courtesy Freeeskindernega.com)
Activists championing press freedom in Ethiopia were dealt a heavy blow Wednesday as the country convicted six journalists of terrorism charges for their actions in speaking out against the government. Among the convicted was award-winning journalist Eskinder Nega, who was arrested last year after he was accused of trying to incite violence with a series of online articles. The Los Angeles Times reports:
"Though Eskinder and the rest of the defendants could have faced the death penalty under the terrorism law, prosecutors reportedly recommended maximum sentences of life in prison instead.
The Ethiopian terrorism law has been criticized by free-speech groups as repressive and overly vague. After several opposition groups were labeled terrorists, "any journalist who interviewed party members faced possible arrest on terrorism charges," according to the nonprofit group Freedom House.
Amnesty International argued that Eskinder and two dissidents were “convicted solely for their legitimate and peaceful activities." What happened in the other cases is unclear, the human rights group said, adding that the trial was so flawed the convictions shouldn’t stand."
Read the full story here.
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