Fifth court appearance for Zone9 bloggers

(borkena)Incarcerated Zone 9 bloggers made their fifth court appearance at  Arada first instance court earlier today. Still no formal charge laid.

Police  requested additional 28 days, in all five appearance, for “collecting more evidence and analyzing evidences they already have.”

Although not totally unexpected in Ethiopia, it may sound totally out of the world to hear cases where bloggers are held in custody for two good months and yet police requests additional four weeks time to gather evidence.  What more can demonstrate mockery of justice?

Yet, the mockery is in the ugliest of forms  in that it is even defying the legal procedures.  That is the Ethiopian Justice system.

In fact, it is not impossible to find cases of detained citizens for months, or even years, without ever appearing before court. And it now 23 years since the once guerrilla political force took government power in Ethiopia.

Today’s court session for  three members of zone9 bloggers  – Abel, Befkadu and Mahlet – was only ten minutes long, according to  status update of zone9 facebook account..

The judge reportedly gave only additional 15 days instead of the requested 28 days.

In a show of support for and solidarity with Zone9 bloggers,an estimated three hundred friends and supporters of zone9 bloggers showed up in the premise of the court – an affair which is not without remarkable struggle and price to pay.

Friends were apparently trying to capture physical appearance of zone bloggers, obviously to share with other friends who did not make to the court, but taking a picture caused a fight with the police and ends , as usual, with police repression. One supporter is arrested merely for trying to take picture.

Police allegedly made three new arrests of supporters who seemed to have questioned the procedure where  citizens are detained for 60 days without charges.  And it seems that the newly arrested youth are members of one of the registered opposition parties in Ethiopia – Semayawi party.

 

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