Ethiopia : Court ordered Youth leader and eight others with alleged contact to Ginbot 7 to defend charge

(borkena) Court ordered president of Youth organization and eight others,in what is now called region 3 of Ethiopia, who are accused of having clandestine contact with Ginbot 7 to defend themselves from “terrorism” charges, according to report by Sendek.

On Tuesday May 27 2014, Federal High Court ruled Youth organization president Zemenu Kasse and ten other suspects defend charges of “terrorism.”

In addition to alleged clandestine contact with Ginbot 7, an opposition political force which the ruling party in Ethiopia considers as a “terrorist organization”, charge against suspects include :

  • Military Training in Eritrea
  • Plot to undertake “armed violence to change the constitutional order through force,”
  • Plot to assassinate authorities in region 3 of Ethiopia.

Based on the charge, Zemenu Kasse, allegedly met with senior leadership of Ginbot 7 , specifically General Tefera Mamo and Andargachew Tsige, and received mission to carry out “terrorist act”

Other defendants, Ashenafi Akalu,Denahun Beza, Mindaye Tilahun and Anmut Yihehis are charged with using social media to contact Ginbot 7 leadership to receive command in purchasing fire arms to carry out acts of “terrorism”

Desalegne Assefa, Muluye Manaye, Tegaw Kassa and Yihealem Akalu are charged with association to the plot knowingly or unknowingly.

Apparently, first defendant Zemenu Kasse is being tried in absentia. Tenth defendant, Mulu Sisay, is acquitted on grounds that prosecutor does not have adequate evidence.

The rest of the defendants are to be tried in late June 2014.

Now, it is not secret that the ruling party in Ethiopia enacted “terrorism legislation” to deepen repression.

A simple act of self-expression on social media could entail charges of “terrorism” in Ethiopia. In a new wave of crackdown in recent months, journalists and bloggers are thrown to jail on grounds of suspicion of “terrorism” and many of them are not yet charged.

The youth,politicized or otherwise, in Ethiopia is living a fear of charges of terrorism – perhaps an atmosphere the legislation intended to create.

Written by Dimetros Birku  follow on twitter  @dimetros

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