Ethiopian court sentence muslim activists, journalists to prison terms


Darsema Sori (left) and Khalid Mohammed

ESAT News (January 3, 2017)

An Ethiopian court sentenced 20 muslim activists and journalists to prison terms ranging from four to five years.

The case of Kedir Mohamed Yusuf et. al. began two years ago after regime security forces detained the activists accusing them of planning to carry out what the regime says was an act of terrorism.

Two of the accused, Darsema Sori and Khalid Mohammed, are journalists who worked for Radio Bilal that focuses on Ethiopian Muslim issues.

The defendants were accused of attempting to get the release of jailed members of the Ethiopian Muslim Arbitration Committee that was fighting to stop government’s interference in religious affairs. They were also accused of carrying out acts of terrorism. The prosecutor however did not present evidence of how and when the alleged crime took place.

The Ethiopian Muslim community have since 2011 been demanding in peaceful rallies for the government to stop interfering in their religious affairs.

Independent investigations, including the one carried out by the U.S. government, concluded that the demands by the Ethiopian Muslims were purely religious and have nothing to do with terrorism.

The Ethiopian regime routinely cook up evidence and use its kangaroo courts to jail its opponents and journalists critical to its undemocratic rule.