Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ethiopian MP arrested before poll, govt says will free

"Asnaketch Balcha was arrested on Sunday and sentenced to six months on Tuesday for contempt of court," said Negaso Gidada, a leader of the biggest opposition coalition, Medrek, and a former Ethiopian president. "The government needs to release her immediately if it wants this election to continue," Negaso told Reuters, adding that Asnaketch had immunity as an MP. Government spokesman Shimeles Kemal told Reuters the woman was a lawyer and had been arrested on an outstanding contempt of court charge. "The court didn't know she had parliamentary immunity and she didn't invoke it," Shimeles said. "We are now making every effort to secure her release." Read more…

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