Two journalists and a US-based blogger (tried in absentia), were convicted on charges of terrorism in Addis Ababa yesterday. They may face the death penalty. Reeyot Alemu, a columnist with the independent weekly Feteh, deputy editor Woubshet Taye of the now-defunct weekly Awramba Times, and Elias Kifle, exiled editor of the Washington-based opposition website Ethiopian Review, were charged with lending support to an underground network of outlawed opposition groups.
On July 17, an Ethiopian court ruled that two journalists would remain imprisoned for an additional 28 days, without access to legal counsel or charge. Woubshet Taye, from Awramba Times and Reeyot Alemu, from the Feteh newspaper, were initially detained on June 19 and 21 respectively. The journalists were charged with “conspiracy to commit terrorism”, under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, adopted in 2009. In addition to Taye and Alemu, government officials accused members of the opposition party and five other individuals of the same violations.