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Former editor-in-chief sentenced



(EFJA/IFEX) - The former editor-in-chief of the private Amharic monthly magazine "Tobia" has been fined 12,000 Birr (about US$1500).




On 17 October 2000, the Second Criminal Bench of the Federal High Court sentenced Taye Belachew on charges of spreading false charges against the government and arousing hatred against the Tigrigna-speaking people. As is common, Articles 10/1, 10/2 and 20/1 of Press Proclamation no. 34/92 and Article 480 of the Penal Code were cited for the charge.

The two articles published in the monthly journal ("Tobia", vol. 4 no 11 and 12), both of which were opinion pieces, were entitled "The strategy for the Re-unification of Mereb Melash (Eritrea) with Ethiopia", by Professor Tilahun Yilma, and "The Root of All sprouted from this land", by Tsegaye Gebre Medihin Araya.

The former editor-in-chief was held in the Central Investigation Department Prison for seventy-seven days without charge for the same issue.

Recommended Action


Send appeals to authorities:
- suggesting that the payment of Birr 12,000 decided by the court against Belachew is unjust and unfair, and requesting his release
- calling attention to the cases of the twenty-six members of the free press, including those imprisoned journalists whose cases are pending in court, so that they may be given governmental attention

Appeals To


APPEALS TO:

H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi
Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Fax: +251 1 55 20 20

H. E. Ato Worede Wold Wolde
Minister of Justice
Fax: +251 1 55 07 22

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.



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