Media News - Thursday, June 28, 2012
Twenty-four Ethiopians, including a prominent journalist and blogger, were convicted on Wednesday of conspiring with rebels to overthrow the government, the third case in six months involving a member of the media. Prosecutors said they would not demand the death penalty and called for jail sentences from five years to life for the group. Media rights groups have accused Addis Ababa of using national security concerns as an excuse to clamp down on opposition figures and journalists, a charge dismissed by the government. Both the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Amnesty International criticised the convictions. Journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega was arrested last year and accused of trying to incite violence with a series of online articles, alongside other charges. Along with the 23 other named individuals, he was also accused of belonging to Ginbot 7, a group branded a "terrorist" organisation by the Ethiopian government. The trial resumes on July 13, when sentences are expected. (Reuters)
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