(borkena)Three members of Zone9bloggers appeared in court this morning for a third time only to be adjourned for a third time.
Abel Wabella, Befkadu Hailu and Mahlet Fantahun appeared in Arada Court, close by to the infamous Maekelawi torture chamber in Addis Ababa. Based on informed report by Tsion Girma the court was closed and no family members were allowed to the court room. Worse, Befkadu’s mother was subject to verbal and physical abuse by special guards, loyal to the regime.
As if not allowing a mother to have access to the court appearance of her son is not already a repression, the regime had to unleash psychological torture by swinging to physical abuse.
Friends and family members of the bloggers were not even allowed in the premise of the court let alone in the court room. They were not even allowed to hangout in
Why is the case adjourned again for nearly one month?
Police is still claiming that it didn’t finalize gathering evidence. Evidence to prove that “…that Zone9bloggers bloggers were clandestinely organizing to depose government,that zone9bloggers have received links to terrorists based abroad, that Zone9bloggers have received training , command and funds to cause volatile situation in Ethiopia and lead terrorist activity…” – a charge that sounds totally insane for friends and family members of the bloggers.
The physical and psychological torture during the course of investigation to obtain non-existent “evidence” to support claims of terrorism is imaginably horrifying in the real sense of the term.
According to Amha, lawyers of the bloggers, it seemed that police already changed the charge from criminal offense to “terrorism” charges.
The Anti-terrorist legislation of Ethiopia has a spacious room for abuse of citizens and activists, if it is not all about repressing dissenting voices.
Article 19 remarked “… the 2009 Anti Terrorism Proclamation and find that a number of the sections of the Proclamation undermine international protections on freedom of expression”
Written by Dimetros Birku
Follow on twitter @dimetros