An Ethiopian court on Friday jailed a journalist for 18 years for “terrorism” and 23 others, reporters and activists, for between eight years and life, after a trial condemned by rights groups.
Journalist Eskinder Nga was jailed for 18 years, while opposition member Andualem Arage got life because of “the heaviness of the case” after he was convicted of participating with an outlawed group, Judge Hussein Yimer said.
Both men were found guilty of “participation in a terrorist organisation” and “planning…(a) terrorist act”.
Andualem was also found guilty of serving as a “leader or decision maker of a terrorist organisation”.
The life sentence was without the possibility of parole, the judge added.
Eskinder was convicted of working with the outlawed Ginbot 7 group, considered a terrorist group under Ethiopian law.
“He (Eskinder) has been working with the Ginbot 7 organization…,” which had aggravated his sentence, the judge added.
“After taking into consideration how the criminal offence was committed, the court decided on 18 years imprisonment without parole.”
Judges found the 24 defendants guilty of terrorism charges last month.
Although 16 of them were convicted in absentia, having fled into exile, both Eskinder and Andualem were in court on Friday to hear their sentence.
Dressed in suits, they waved to family members as they filed into the court room, filled with friends and family of the activists, as well as journalists and diplomats.
Andualem, a member of the opposition party the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), smiled tightly and bowed his head when handed his sentence.
Defence lawyer Abebe Guta said his clients had not received a fair trial.
“In my personal opinion, we rebutted the prosecution’s evidence beyond reasonable doubt, I think it’s been not reasonably considered,” he told reporters.
Eskinder would appeal the sentence, he said, adding that Andualem and his other clients were also considering filing appeals, which they have 45 days to do.
‘Weakness doesn’t win elections’: Indivisible co-founder explains why members are holding #ImpeachTrump rallies
The growing support to commence impeachment proceedings by House Democrats is driven by their need to fire up grassroots support to hold control of the chamber, an Indivisible co-founder explained on MSNBC.
"The call for impeachment continues. this as protesters are hitting the street in more than 140 rallies planned across the country. Organizers say the "Impeach Trump" event is a day of action urging House Democrats to start impeachment proceedings," MSNBC's Richard Lui reported Saturday.
"A new survey from the indivisible project finds 80 percent of their respondents say the House should start impeachment proceedings," he noted. "Right now in the House, 63 Democrats and one Republican support impeachment."
Mississippi fast food cashier ‘terminated immediately’ for ugly racist slur on customer’s receipt
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When Lex Washington visited Who Dat's Drive-Thru in Oxford with her roommate, the cashier listed them on the receipt as "black b*tches in a silver car."
A manager reportedly refused to apologize at the time, and instead "laughed in her face."
A photo of the receipt then spread on social media.
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On Saturday, George Conway drew attention to a specific passage of a new article from The New York Times about the intelligence community's efforts to counterattack the Russian power grid, in response to years of covert Kremlin attacks on our own:
“[O]fficials described...hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern...that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation...to the Russian foreign minister.” https://t.co/BXTjjXBmia