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Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby AP » 26 Jan 2012, 12:20


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — An Ethiopian judge has sentenced a group of five journalists and politicians to prison sentences ranging from 13 years to life.

The five were arrested last year and charged last week under Ethiopia's controversial anti-terrorism laws.

Judge Endeshaw Adane said Thursday that Ethiopia's federal high court found Elias Kifle, editor-in-chief of a U.S.-based opposition website, guilty of terrorism. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Kifle was tried in absentia.

The judge gave prison sentences of 14 years for Wubshet Taye, deputy editor-in-chief of the recently closed-down weekly Awramba Times, and Reeyot Alemu, a columnist of independent weekly Feteh. One opposition politician was sentenced to 13 years, and the other to 19 years.

Reeyot's lawyer, Molla Zegeye, says his client will appeal.

The maximum sentence for terrorism under Ethiopia's anti terrorism laws is capital punishment.

The Associated Press



Re: Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby eden » 26 Jan 2012, 12:27


This is very sad and it take the country backward because it forces journalists to engage in self censorsip. That means legitmate views never get to be aired. Ethiopia is getting worse and worse in press freedom.

my advice is the same advice I gave to hgdef rulers. the best way to deal with bad press is more press. instead of the rulers (or their judiciary) fighting the "bad" journalists that "hurt" the country, let other journalists expose them and destroy their credibility. Instead of restricting press, free it even more. that is the answer, the smart answer.
Last edited by eden on 26 Jan 2012, 12:32, edited 1 time in total.



Re: Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby Minelik » 26 Jan 2012, 12:31


:)
Last edited by Minelik on 26 Jan 2012, 13:24, edited 1 time in total.



Re: Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby ZEMEN » 26 Jan 2012, 12:47


Belaynesh, why are you serving the freaking sub-human weyane, [deleted].

Anyway, weyane is getting funny by the day. I think Elias is becoming unsung hero thanks to the sub-humans. I mean I heard the Elias’s interview and I sensed the same confidence and personal demeanor as the brave man of Essyas of Eritrea. I think Elias will become high official of the next Ethiopia.
What I can’t understand is why are weyane sub-humans wasting their time? I mean, it is not going to happen. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk



Re: Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby revolutions » 26 Jan 2012, 15:16



That's like Hitler accusing his Jewish victims of "fascism," or Osama Bin Laden calling the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks "terrorists." All one has to do is read the secret US embassy cable released by Wikileaks to see who the real terrorist is in the Horn of Africa.


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SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: RECENT BOMBINGS BLAMED ON OROMOS
POSSIBLY THE WORK OF GOE (Government of Ethiopia)


Classified By: CHARGE VICKI HUDDLESTON FOR REASONS 1.4(b)AND(d).

¶1. (S) SUMMARY A series of explosions were reported in Addis
Ababa on September 16, killing three individuals. The GoE
announced that the bombs went off while being assembled, and
that the three dead were terrorists from the outlawed Oromo
Liberation Front (OLF) with links to the Oromo National
Congress (ONC). An embassy source, as well as clandestine
reporting, suggests that the bombing may have in fact been
the work of GoE security forces. END SUMMARY

¶2. (U) On September 16, three bomb explosions were reported
in the Kara Kore area of Addis Ababa. The explosions were
heard at 4:45 a.m., 7:00 a.m., and 10:00 a.m. The National
Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), together with the
Federal Police Anti-terror Task Force later reported that the
bombs were “part of a coordinated terror attack by the OLF
and Sha’abiya (Eritrea) aimed at disrupting democratic
development.” The NISS said that the intended terror plot
had failed and the bombs had mistakenly gone off while the
suspects were preparing them while hiding out at an illegally
built house. Two of the suspects died immediately, while
another died on the way to the hospital. One other is in
critical condition. The police task force reported having
others in custody related to the plot and that evidence shows
the terrorists had ties to Oromo groups – the Mecha and
Tulema Association (MTA) and the ONC. They also said that
the bombs used contained parts sourced from Eritrea and were
consistent with bombs used in previous terrorist attacks.

¶3. (S) On September 20, Dr. Merera Gudina (strictly protect),
the former leader of the ONC (and a typically reliable
information source), contacted Post to report that the
deceased had not died not while constructing a bomb, but
rather at the hands of GoE cadres. Dr. Merera said that the
men had been picked up by police a week prior, kept in
detention and tortured. He said police then left the men in
a house and detonated explosives nearby, killing 3 of them.
He did not indicate whether the men were ONC or OLF
affiliated.

¶4. (S) Clandestine reporting indicates that the bombs did not
explode inside the structure, but rather appear to have been
placed outside and detonated.
[Ambassador Vicki] HUDDLESTON

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Re: Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby Aragaw » 26 Jan 2012, 15:22


What do you expect from.....A Kangaroo court.
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Re: Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby Fed_Up » 26 Jan 2012, 16:29


AP wrote:ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — An Ethiopian judge has sentenced a group of five journalists and politicians to prison sentences ranging from 13 years to life.

The five were arrested last year and charged last week under Ethiopia's controversial anti-terrorism laws.

Judge Endeshaw Adane said Thursday that Ethiopia's federal high court found Elias Kifle, editor-in-chief of a U.S.-based opposition website, guilty of terrorism. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Kifle was tried in absentia.

The judge gave prison sentences of 14 years for Wubshet Taye, deputy editor-in-chief of the recently closed-down weekly Awramba Times, and Reeyot Alemu, a columnist of independent weekly Feteh. One opposition politician was sentenced to 13 years, and the other to 19 years.

Reeyot's lawyer, Molla Zegeye, says his client will appeal.

The maximum sentence for terrorism under Ethiopia's anti terrorism laws is capital punishment.

The Associated Press


Elias said ...

Image

he added " i bought nice shirt the phrase written"

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Re: Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby revolutions » 26 Jan 2012, 17:10


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"...Meles's own political party would have been considered a terrorist organization under his predecessor's regime, which it overthrew in 1991."
Abigail Salisbury, former Law Professor at Mekelle University


Human Rights and the War on Terror in Ethiopia

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Abigail Salisbury is a former faculty member at the Mekelle University Law Faculty in Mek'ele, Ethiopia, and has written for JURIST previously on the issue of human rights in Ethiopia. She is a 2007 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

    JURIST Guest Columnist and former JURIST Executive Director Abigail Salisbury says that the Ethiopian government has used the War on Terror to maintain its power, labeling opposition groups, journalists and others as terrorists and detaining them under legislation that is purportedly aimed at furthering the War on Terror...


It is not entirely out of the ordinary to hear of the arrest of political dissidents in Ethiopia, but a recent cluster of arrests has drawn attention from the international human rights community. Over the last few weeks, a group of at least nine journalists, Ethiopian National Democratic Party members and others, have been arrested and detained under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652. This added to some two dozen other individuals said to have been charged under the same law over the last couple of months. This 2009 law uses the buzzword "terrorism" to encourage the West to continue to see Ethiopia as a vital partner in the War on Terror, drawing attention away from the law's true purpose: suppressing any opposition to the regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Given the recent unrest in several other African countries, the uptick in arrests under the law is worrying, and tends to validate earlier concerns over its potential for facilitating human rights violations.

Disguising human rights violations and oppression with positive terminology is not new to Ethiopian legislators, who passed the Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation No. 590 in 2008. This idealistic-sounding law's title belies its contents, because it enables the government to bring charges against "any person who is suspected of committing an offence through the mass media." Such offenses include the publication of statements critical of the legislative, executive or judicial authorities that are deemed false or defamatory. It is up to the attorney general to decide if the accused journalist should be detained on remand.

The more recent adoption of terrorism as a tool for oppression has allowed the Ethiopian government to take much greater measures to eradicate opposition. The ruling regime has learned that the West needs its support for its own anti-terrorism efforts in the region, so much so that human rights abuses can be overlooked. Many argued against HR 2003, The Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 when it was before the US Congress, because they felt that conditioning non-essential US aid to Ethiopia on the regime's attainment of certain human rights benchmarks would damage a relationship crucial to fighting terrorism. The reaction in Ethiopia was mixed, and the bill never came to a vote after reaching the US Senate.

The Ethiopian government was encouraged by the bill's failure, and by its provision specifically exempting anti-terrorism funding from the human rights benchmarks. Thus the regime enhanced its restrictions on freedom of speech by hiding them behind Western-friendly terms, the most powerful of which turned out to be "terrorism." Recognizing the nation's geographic and political value as a strategic outpost for the West's War on Terror in East Africa and the Middle East, the Ethiopian government made a show of its dedication to fighting terrorism not only for its own benefit, but for "the peace and security of the world at large," in the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. The law cites Ethiopia's commitment to cooperation with those fighting terror all over the world, emphasizing its relationships with the African Union and the UN.

After reading past these vows and laudations, however, the true purpose of the law becomes clear. Yes, they are dedicated to fighting terrorists, but who are the terrorists? In what amounts to a bill of attainder, once the legislature designates a person or group as a terrorist or terrorist organization, they lose their legal personality. Any assets or property are forfeited and liquidated immediately, without a judicial determination of guilt. The government can then officially ignore or punish what would otherwise be legitimate actions in a free society, such as lawsuits, protests or speech, as well as the actions of anyone who is deemed to have supported or aided the "terrorists" in any way.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, encouraging terrorism can mean as small an act as showing "moral support" for a person or group deemed terroristic by the legislature. Publishing one's approval for one of the country's various ethnic rebel or political forces, for instance, could result in a 10-year minimum prison sentence, since these opposition groups have been declared terroristic in nature. Human Rights Watch states that it knows of 14 people who were arrested under the law in June for belonging to the Oromo Liberation Front. Meles's regime is built on ethnic federalism, and tends to favor certain ethnic groups, so designating opposition groups made up of the disfavored ethnicities as terrorist organizations helps Meles to stay in power. These designations could help support a future request for foreign military assistance in the event of an uprising, since such people could be characterized as committing terrorist attacks, not fighting for self-determination or democracy. Indeed, the authorization to control people or things threatened by or supportive of this so-called terrorism provides a convenient excuse for breaking up protests, suppressing speech and stripping people of the assets they would need to establish an effective opposition force.

The law takes advantage of this anti-terrorism theme to deprive people of due process in other ways, as well. The Criminal Procedure Code of Ethiopia requires that an individual must be brought before a court of law within 48 hours of arrest, and that detention on remand may be no longer than 14 days. Warrants are required in a manner familiar to US lawyers, and search and seizure provisions are laid out in detail. Even the Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation forbids remand for further investigation. The Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, however, allows detention for as long as four months, and authorities are explicitly permitted to use force to obtain evidence from the accused. Again justifying these actions by pointing to the importance of fighting terrorism, the law authorizes courts to ignore normal rules of evidence when trying suspects. Anonymous intelligence reports containing anonymous statements are admissible, as are all confessions, hearsay and information collected by any foreign entities. The accused are encouraged to name names and describe events in order to reduce their punishment, which could include the death penalty.

Interestingly, Meles's own political party would have been considered a terrorist organization under his predecessor's regime, which it overthrew in 1991. Perhaps this legislation is not ironic then, but rather politically shrewd. All around him, other long-time leaders in the region are being called into question, and some have even been removed and detained. Meles may be worried, but perhaps such legal actions are tactical. After all, he knows firsthand how rulers are deposed. He did it once himself.

--------

Abigail Salisbury is a former faculty member at the Mekelle University Law Faculty in Mek'ele, Ethiopia, and has written for JURIST previously on the issue of human rights in Ethiopia. She is a 2007 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Suggested citation: Abigail Salisbury, Human Rights and the War on Terror in Ethiopia, JURIST - Forum, Aug. 2, 2011, http://jurist.org/forum/2011/08/abigail ... terror.php.
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Source: http://jurist.org/forum/2011/08/abigail ... terror.php




Re: Elias Kifle gets life in jail

Postby yoha » 28 Jan 2012, 04:39


It does not matter he lives here i feel bad about the one inside the country they don't have any option to defend themselves and others paying a price for democracy and this is not the first for Elias Kifle to involve in a drama since WOyane Is Kelatam they will do any thing i am also praying for
the journalists and their families and i hope the international community will try to help for their freedom soon.

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