Ethiopia jails prominent blogger for 18 years

July 13, 2012 (Reuters) – An Ethiopian court on Friday sentenced a prominent blogger to 18 years in jail and five other exiled journalists to prison terms ranging from eight years to life behind bars for conspiring with rebels to topple the government, the presiding judge said.

Dissident writer Eskinder Nega was one of 24 Ethiopians who were convicted last month of conspiring with rebels to overthrow the government. It was the third case in six months involving members of the media.

“The court has given due considerations to the charges and the sentences are appropriate,” Judge Endeshaw Adane said.

–Reuters

Ethiopian blogger Eskinder Nega jailed for 18 years

July 13, 2012 (BBC News) – A prominent Ethiopian journalist and blogger has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for violating Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism legislation.

Eskinder Nega and 23 others were found guilty last month.

They were accused of links with US-based opposition group Ginbot Seven, which Ethiopia considers a terrorist organisation.

Opposition member Andualem Arage was given a life sentence by the court, AFP news agency reports.

In May, Eskinder was awarded the prestigious Pen America’s Freedom to Write annual prize for his work.

“The court has given due considerations to the charges and the sentences are appropriate,” Reuters news agency quotes Judge Endeshaw Adane as saying.

Five journalists amongst the group found guilty in June were sentenced in absentia, the agency reports.

Human rights groups have criticised Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism legislation for being too far-reaching.

–BBC News