Human rights group says sentencing of 21 Oromos in Ethiopia politically motivated

August 19, 2013

On 15 August 2013 the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa [HRLHA] called for reversal of the sentencing of 21 Oromo students by the Federal High Court of Ethiopia on 7th August.  

Gadaa.comThree of the Sentenced Oromo Students

All of them have spent about three years pending trial on alleged charges of collaborating with the opposition organization of the Oromo Liberation Front with the intention of committing terrorist crimes. According to information obtained by HRLHA through its correspondents, most of the defendants were very young Oromo students picked up at different times from different universities and colleges in the regional state of Oromo and other parts of the country.The HRLHA has learnt that most of the 21 Oromo defendants did not even have acquaintance of each other, let alone collectively committing terrorist crimes, as they were brought together from different universities in the country and met each other in the jail. The charges were mere fabrications aimed at political intimidation. The court handed down the guilty verdict on the Oromo without taking into consideration some evidences that the defendants attempted to present. Five of the twenty one defendants were charged with additional and separate article (criminal code, Article 241, “Attack on the Political or Territorial Integrity of the State”) and might face harsh punishments.

Although this verdict did not come as a surprise, as it is not the first of its kind, it has enormously added to the impression of  injustice and unfairness of the justice system, raising further concerns among the human rights groups, and human rights defenders. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa calls up on the Ethiopian Government to reverse this unfair verdict, and unconditionally release the prisoners.

Human rights group says sentencing of 21 Oromos in Ethiopia’s court is politically motivated —- Gadaa.com Oduu – News.

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