19 Dec. 2012
The Ethiopian Federal Supreme Court, after hearing the appeals of journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition official Andualem Arage and three other opposition officials today, has given an appointment for January 18, 2013 for final verdict.
Arrested in 2011 and detained without access to an attorney for nearly two months, Mr. Nega was sentenced to 18 years in prison under the country’s broad 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation on July 13, 2012. Mr. Nega’s arrest and prosecution came after he wrote online articles and spoke publicly about the possibility of an Arab Spring-like movement taking place in Ethiopia. After his sentencing, the government initiated proceedings to seize his assets, including the home still used by his wife and young son.
Eskinder, who holds an American Green Card and whose properties have recently been impounded, has been arrested over eight times since he returned back to his country and started journalism. Representing himself, Eskinder today argued in the Courtroom the Arab spring style of changing a regime is constitutional, said local sources who attended the session.