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Monday, July 16, 2007

Breaking News: Kangaroo court hands down life sentences to CUD leaders

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

The court has also barred the CUD leaders from voting or standing for election in the future

An Ethiopian court has handed down life sentences to all of the main opposition leaders convicted of links to violent election protests in a major trial. Eight of the 38 opposition figures in court were given shorter prison terms. The prosecution had demanded the death penalty for them all.

They refused to recognise the court, saying the trial was political.Their relatives say the detainees have signed a document which could pave the way for their release. High court judge Adil Ahmed also barred the 30 Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) leaders from voting or standing for election.(More...)

The spin factor

The dubious reporting of Reuters’s Tsegaye Tadesse should no longer be left unchallenged. Ethiopians in the past have been shocked and disappointed repeatedly over the apparent lack of fairness in his reports. We all remember how when government security forces were massacring civilians on the streets of Addis, he chose to act as a government apologist by implicitly blaming the unarmed civilians and the opposition, while the rest of the foreign press (AP, AFP, BBC) based their reports on facts.

And today, when the democratically elected parliamentarians - considered prisoners of conscience by all human rights organizations - were sentenced to life imprisonment; he attempted to put a positive spin on it by unashamedly declaring “Ethiopian opposition leaders escape death sentence”.

Here is what other media outlets had to say:

-Ethiopia slaps life sentences on more than 30 opposition figures(AFP)
-Life in jail for Ethiopia leaders (BBC)
-Ethiopian Court Sentences 35 to Life (AP)

Click here to make a complaint (won't take more than three minutes; briefly explain what you think about Mr. Tsegaye Tadesse’s reporting and leave your email address)