Co-Blogger Zelalem Workagegnehu moved to Kaliti Prison; appeal submitted



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Zelalem Workagegnehu, co-blogger of De Birhan Blog, who was sentenced to five years and four months by the Ethiopian regime controlled court in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia on May 10, 2016 has been transfered to Kaliti Prison from Kilinto, where he was held for more than a year.

The infamous Kaliti prison is where former regime politicians, members of Kinijit (CUD) and journalists such as Eskinder Nega, Swedish journalists Martin Schibeye and Johan Pearson, and Gambella Region’s ex-president Okello Aquay, were and are held.

He is being kept in Zone 2 of the Kaliti Prison. It is not clear if he is going to serve the rest of his sentence in this prison or will be moved again.

He can be visited anytime by anyone, sources said.

Zelalem was finishing his Masters Degree in Public Administration at the Addis Abeba University, in July 2014 when he was detained together with nine other opposition politicians, netizens, and activists.

The Court had acquitted  five of the defendants  in August 2015 and two more of Zelalem’s co-defendants on April 15, 2016 when it found Zelalem and two other co-defendants of Zelalem guilty of “supporting terror in any way.”

The movement he is accused of supporting is known as Ginbot 7 (Arebgenoch Ginbot 7 Movement), a pro-democracy movement founded by Professor Berhanu Nega, an Ethiopian economist, who lectured in Bucknell University, U.S.A. Zelalem was initially accused of being a member and local leader of Ginbot 7 although the charges were later changed to recruiting members to start an Arab Spring styled revolution in Ethiopia and applying for a digital security course.

Similarly, Zelalem has submitted his appeal letter to the Federal Court last Wednesday. He hopes that the sentencing will be changed after his appeals are heard.