Jailed anti-poverty campaigners face two-month wait for verdict – Reuters

August 3rd, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Judges trying the case of two anti-poverty campaigners in Ethiopia yesterday (Thursday 2 August) adjourned the trial until 8 October, when the court will give judgement. (more…)

Judges trying the case of two anti-poverty campaigners in Ethiopia yesterday (Thursday 2 August) adjourned the trial until 8 October, when the court will give judgement.

Daniel Bekele, 40, policy manager of ActionAid Ethiopia, and Netsanet Demissie, 29, general manager of the Organisation for Social Justice in Ethiopia, will now spend two more months in prison awaiting the verdict, while the court takes its annual recess.

The two were detained in November 2005 alongside opposition political leaders and charged in January 2006 with the crime of ‘outrage against the constitution and the constitutional order’.

Of 131 originally charged, they are the only two still on trial.

Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders.

On Thursday 2 August they concluded their defence, after calling 29 witnesses and presenting 300 pages of documentary evidence. The prosecutors asked for time to consider the verbal and written evidence before presenting their concluding remarks. The judges agreed and said that the prosecutors must present a final written submission by 26 August and the defence should respond in writing by 31 August.

The court will reconvene on 8 October, at the beginning of the new legal year, to give judgement.

Ramesh Singh, chief executive of ActionAid said: “This further delay comes as a big disappointment when we were so near to the end of the process.”

  1. | #1

    This is truly saddening. I wouldn’t be surprised if the trial is further delayed after October because “the prosecutor needs more time” to review the testimonies.


  2. Eskinder Degene.
    | #2

    The anti-poverty campianers should be set free it is clear that they do not have any poltical involvement in both EPRDEF or Kinjet so and so thier releasing of the anti-poverty campiagner it realy show a real demokrate governement thinking even they are involved in poltics is an indivdual write which is written in Ethiopian constituition low so i personally write thise comment to support the set free those indivduals.to comtribute the effort which is made to fight poverty in the country with the governement.unity is strengeth come togethoer and discuss in one table as a prinsple.

  3. Shumet Menywab
    | #3

    Notorious dictator’s court system, like Meles’s, earn legitimacy, in the face of government killing squads against peaceful demonstrators of the people who believingly have given a right by their government to demonstrate, thanks to the West ‘s double standards to tolerate it. ‘Giff sibeza, ‘barian megref anteltilo kewanza’ indilu, what is going on in Meles’s court is no different than the pro-verb I remember my dad used to say it. I can only pray for God to give us all the strength to unite and stand against this out side funded court process. A brake through between these opposition groups must happen without any delay. Fellow Ethiopians, it is not Meles who is making a favor to his survivals, it is the people’s weakness and the so called ‘Shimagles’ now. The victims pleading the victimizers will kill and berry the democratic spirit of the people in the country. What is happening between the Shimagles and the government of Ethiopia in the name of traditional problem solving and we are watching it to happen is not right! When the innocents suffer ‘too much’ the consequence out of this will hurt every branch of society. The Ethiopian people need ‘Shimagles for ‘Shimagles’ to balance the true traditional values with common senses otherwise, the value of traditional ‘Shimagles’ is here for doom!

  4. Andinet
    | #4


  5. E
    | #5

    God has a reason for every season.
    May there stay well as the millennium flies through time.

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