April 27, 2016
Okello Akuayi, a Norwegian citizen, and former governor of Gambella region, who was abducted from South Sudan two years ago, has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment by the Ethiopian Federal Court today.
The Ethiopia Federal High Court Lideta Branch had found the former governor of Ethiopia’s Gambella Region, Okello Akuayi, guilty of trespassing Article 241 of Proclamation No. 414/2004 of Ethiopian Federal Criminal Code. The initial charges of terror were changed to violating the criminal code 241 last month.
Article 241. of the Proclamation No.414/2004 states
Whoever, by violence or any other unconstitutional means, directly or indirectly, commits an act designed to destroy the unity of the peoples, or to destroy the Federation, or to sever part of the territory or population from the Federation or the State, is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from ten years to twenty-five years, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, life imprisonment or death.
Okello Akway Ochalla, has been held as a political prisoner in Ethiopia since March 2014 after he was kidnapped by Ethiopian Intelligence forces from South Sudan, where he had traveled from his refugee in Norway to “visit friends and families”.
Okello was the governor of Gambella region of Ethiopia during the 2003 Gambella massacre.
Soon after his abduction Okello was impeached with terrorism according to the 2009 Ethiopian Anti Terror Proclamation in 2014.