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Friday, July 13, 2012

Ethiopian blogger Eskinder Nega jailed for 18 years

Ethiopian blogger Eskinder Nega jailed for 18 years

Eskinder Nega was arrested after publishing a column questioning the arrests of some journalists

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.

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