Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Swedish Journalists’ Terror Trial Opens in Ethiopia

The two Swedes, freelance investigative reporter Martin Schibbye and photojournalist Johan Persson, were arrested in July in Ethiopia’s Somali region while traveling with rebels of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, which is fighting for regional autonomy. The government alleges the pair were not just journalists, but were actively supporting the rebels and has charged them under an anti-terrorism law. The trial’s brief opening session was adjourned to allow time for two surprise co-defendants to be given court-appointed lawyers. Lead defense attorney Sileshi Kesela told reporters he had used the opening session to demand the prosecution share evidence confiscated during the arrests, including a video shot by the defendants and their press credentials.“It was the court which asked did you not receive any of the evidence, and we indicated we haven’t received this and this evidence, one written material and one cassette,” said Kesela. Read more…

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