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Ethiopia : ” Zone9 bloggers received instruction and idea from OLF and Ginbot 7″

(borkena) Zone9 bloggers and three other journalists are charged by Federal Prosecutor today  with a criminal offence related to “terrorism”, according to Reporter Amharic edition breaking news report.

Six members of Zone9 bloggers : Abel Wabella, Atinaf Berhane, Befkadu Hailu, Mahlet Fantahun, Natenael Feleke, and  Zelalem Kibret were in custody,without charge, in the torture chamber of Maekelawi for more than 80 days. Solyana Shimeles, who is implicated as founder of Zone9 and foreign relation coordinator,  is charged in absentia.

Three journalists- Asmamaw Hailegiorgis, Edom kassaye and Tesfalem Woldeyes – are also charged along with Zone9 bloggers. As Zone 9 bloggers, the three journalists were in custody without charge nearly for three months.

Federal Prosecutor litigates that Zone9 bloggers and the three journalists were clandestinely organized  to incite protest. It even went to the extent of claiming that Zone9 bloggers received instruction and idea from OLF (Oromo Liberation Front) an ethnic Oromo rebel group operating mainly operating in neighboring countries and  Ginbot 7, a movement for democracy ,Justice and Freedom based in the diaspora.

As well, Zone9 bloggers are implicated in taking training abroad and in Ethiopia to plan “terror.”  To read Reporter’s report in Amharic, please click here

borkena is not neutral on this matter. It is clear that the charge is trumped up and borkena condemns it strongly. It is very concerning  that there are signs that suggest rule of law is virtually dead in Ethiopia and the courts are not free. It is not secret that Zone9 is an organized blogging group and it has got readers both in the country and overseas with whom the bloggers communicate. The bloggers have absolute right to organize themselves and to organize other Ethiopians to seek change and no single publication by the bloggers suggest that the bloggers espouse violence as a means to effect change. The objective of minority Ethno-Supremacist regime in Ethiopia is to scare Ethiopian Youth not to exercise constitutional right to organize and seek change.




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