Banned journalists summoned to Supreme Court over 2005 elections. By Eskinder Nega. (Addis Ababa)

December 2nd, 2009 Print Print Email Email

In an extraordinary development, the EPRDF led government has suddenly decided to pursue the case against banned journalists over the 2005 disputed elections; few months short of the upcoming national elections. (more…)

In an extraordinary development, the EPRDF led government has suddenly decided to pursue the case against banned journalists over the 2005 disputed elections; few months short of the upcoming national elections.

Complying to pleas by government representatives, the supreme court has summoned four publishing houses—Sisay,Zekarias,Fasil and Serkalem publishing houses—to appear before it’s criminal bench on Friday, December 4 2009.The EPRDF led government is appealing a Federal court ruling which established that the publishing houses had been pardoned by the President in accordance with the law and the public pronouncements of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in 2007, despite the stringent claim by the government to the contrary. The publishing houses had been penalized with hefty fines in the infamous post election treason trial of 2005.

A petition filed by the government to the same court is also seeking to “freeze all liquid and fixed assets” of the defendants. In its four page petition to the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Finance and Development, which is representing the government, specified that it is acting at the behest of the Ministry of Justice.

Thirteen newspapers, the entire genre of Ethiopia’s free press, were closed down in the immediate aftermath of the post election riots in 2005; and to this date, incredibly, none have returned despite the release of all journalists by pardon (which the government is now
denying) in 2007.

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