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____________________ CUD DELEGATION ITINERARY -- SEPTEMBER 16 - OCT 27, 2007 (Ad Hoc Coordinating Committee)
AP - Authorities have detained three Ethiopians linked to a top opposition politician, accusing them of trying to create a disturbance during the country's millennium celebrations, a fourth man who was released said Friday.
Nebiyu Bazezew, a 28-year-old banker, said that three of his friends had been arrested in the capital on Tuesday night, when celebrations for Wednesday's millennium began, and held without charge.
After attempting to see the men, Bazezew was held incommunicado for three hours of questioning on Friday, but was released without being told why he had been detained. He was informed by police that his friends were being investigated for trying to cause a disturbance at millennium celebrations, he said, but given no further information on the circumstances of their arrest. Ethiopia follows a Christian calendar seven years behind the one most of the rest of the world uses.
Authorities were not immediately available for comment due to the millennium holiday, which was extended over several days. The three men still in prison were scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, Bazezew said.
"It was more than scary. Nobody knew I was there. In a country where we talk about civil rights, I wasn't even registered, and I wasn't told why I was there," Bazezew said.
His three friends have not been charged. Under Ethiopian law, suspects must be charged within 48 hours, although the holiday may have delayed their case.
Bazezew said the only connection between the four men was fundraising efforts to buy a car for Birtukan Mideksa in August. Birtukan, a top opposition politician, was among 38 opposition members released from prison last July.
They had been held for more than two years after security forces shot 193 civilians protesting electoral fraud. The trial attracted international condemnation and strong pressure from the United States to free the accused, who emerged from prison with strong support in many of their neighborhoods. Such support motivated a group in the neighborhood to buy Mideksa a car, Bazezew said. Bazezew said his arrest was "obviously" political but could offer no further explanation.Related story:
-Police release ceremony organizers
Today's Top HEADLINES-CUD DELEGATION PULLING DOUBLE SHIFT
-More Ethioipans Die crossing to Yemen- AUDIO
-WFP food reaching victims of flooding across Ethiopia
-PM Meles awards Al Amoudi golden medal
-Heavy clashes in Somali capital kill six
ISLAMIST TO LEAD NEW SOMALI OPPOSITION ALLIANCE
Somali opposition figures on Friday named a senior Islamist as chairman of a "liberation" alliance vowing war on Ethiopian troops. They chose 43-year-old Sheikh Sharif Ahmed -- one of the two highest-ranking leaders of Somalia's Islamic Courts movement -- to steer the new opposition grouping.(More..)
-Key facts about Sheikh Sharif Ahmed
INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES-SAUDI WOMEN TO SAY NO TO DRIVING BAN
-Benazir Bhutto to return to Pakistan on Oct. 18
-Sunni Sheik Who Backed U.S. in Iraq Is Killed
-US, China to reward North Korea with fuel aid
-Japan Launches (Unmanned) Moon Mission
-Report on Hindu god Ram withdrawn
_______________________PICTURE OF THE DAY - FACES OF ETHIOPIAMillennium edition(Bumi Men, Omo River Region, Ethiopia) (The Bumi live south of Omo National Park. Numbering around 6 - 7000 in population, the Bumi are agro-pastoralists, relying on cattle herding and flood-retreat agriculture (consisting mainly of sorghum harvesting on the Omo and Kibish Rivers). The Bumi are known to be great warriors. Small groups of Bumi living along the Omo are specialized crocodile hunters using harpoons from a dugout canoe.)
WORLD'S 10 MOST POLLUTED PLACES (PHOTOS)
Areas that researchers have declared the most polluted in the world are typically little known even in their own countries. Yet, the kinds of pollution in these areas not only lead to cancers, birth defects, mental retardation and life expectancies approaching medieval levels, but are also often found all around the globe.(More..)
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