Ethiopia jails journalists - and one faces death penalty
BYLINE: Roy Greenslade
Repression worsens as US-based writer is sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia
In a further sign of worsening repression in Ethiopia, a US-based journalist has been sentenced, in absentia, to life imprisonment on anti-terrorism charges. Two other journalists were given heavy prison sentences.
Elias Kifle, the exiled editor of a website opposed to the governent of Meles Zenawi, was charged over the content of online articles.
He was previously sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007, also in absentia, on charges of treason for his coverage of the government's repression during 2005 post-election protests.
The court in Addis Ababa also sentenced Reyot Alemu, a columnist with the independent weekly Feteh, and Woubshet Taye, deputy editor of the now-defunct weekly Awramba Times, to 14 years in jail and fines of £950 for their journalistic work.
The charges against all three relate to their alleged support for banned opposition groups, which have been criminalised under the country's 2009 anti-terrorism law.
Their sentencing came days after a fourth journalist, Eskinder Nega, was found guilty of terrorism charges. He faces the death penalty.