Responding to reports that Ethiopia’s Federal High Court has found prominent Ethiopian journalist Getachew Shiferaw guilty of “provocation of revolt,” Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:
“Today’s groundless ruling is a further slap in the face for justice in Ethiopia and proof of the authorities’ continued willingness – despite its stated commitment to reform – to misuse the criminal justice system to silence dissent.
“Getachew did nothing but share publicly-available information – to convict him of provoking revolt with the risk of a 10-year jail term, away from his loved ones, is cruel and unacceptable.”
Getachew, 33, was editor-in-chief of Negere Ethiopia, an online newspaper linked to the opposition Semayawi (Blue Party). He was arrested in 25 December 2015. He faces a maximum of 10 years in jail.
Last week, the same court convicted former Blue Party spokesman Yonatan Tesfaye of “encouragement of terrorism” simply for expressing himself on Facebook. He faces up to 20 years in jail.
Getachew will be sentenced on 26 May.