Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Three Ethiopian athletes found safe

 Three of the four missing members of the Ethiopian junior championships track team have been found safe in a Portland suburb, the University of Oregon Police Department said Monday Beaverton police found Amanuel Abebe, 17, Dureti Edao, 18, and Meaza Kebede, 18, with cquaintances in that city west of Portland, UO police spokesman Kelly McIver said. As of early Monday evening, police were still looking for Zeyituna Mohammed, 18, McIver said. Beaverton police spokesman Mike Rowe on Monday night confirmed via email that the athletes were located in Beaverton and are safe, but he would not say where they were found. Rowe did not indicate whether the athletes are seeking political asylum. Earlier Monday, the university had received secondhand information that indicated the athletes were likely safe in the Portland area, UO spokeswoman Julie Brown said. Brown said it's possible that the athletes were in the Portland area ever since they were first reported missing Saturday morning after participating in the World Junior Championships at Hayward Field. Although foul play was not suspected, UO police had led a missing persons investigation with help from Eugene police, Portland police and the FBI, Brown said. The missing person case is still open for Mohammed, McIver said. Like Beaverton police spokesman Rowe, the university did not indicate whether the athletes are seeking asylum from their native country, which has seen significant political turmoil and human rights abuses in recent years. McIver said the university, including its police department, doesn't expect to provide any additional information about the three athletes' situation. The university's "only interest in (those) athletes was in verifying their safety related to the missing persons case," McIver said in an email. "They are legally in the U.S., and have left campus. We have no further need to follow up with them." Most people who come into the country for non-work reasons are issued tourist visas that typically allow them to stay in the country for six months, said Raquel Hecht, a longtime immigration law attorney in Eugene who has represented clients from multiple African countries, including Ethiopia The six-day International Association of Athletics Federations track meet, which drew athletes from at least 167 countries, concluded Sunday. It was the first time the international meet was held in the United States. Brown said Sunday she was unaware of any previous incidents in which international athletes competing at the UO have sought asylum. Edao and Mohammed ran in the 800-meter race last Tuesday and Wednesday. Mohammed qualified to compete in a final on Thursday and came in sixth place. Kebede ran the 400-meter hurdle race on Thursday and failed to advance. Abebe competed in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints on Tuesday and Thursday, and failed to advance in both events. Source ( Blue Mountain)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ethiopia Detains 45 Nigerians for Alleged Drug Trafficking - Official

 No fewer than 45 Nigerian nationals are being detained by the Ethiopian authorities for alleged drugs trafficking and related offences, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. A top official of the Embassy of Nigeria in Addis Ababa, who preferred not be mentioned, told NAN that the suspected traffickers, including seven ladies, were arrested at the Addis Ababa International Airport within a period of five months. The suspects are being detained in various detention facilities within the city while awaiting trial in accordance with international laws on trafficking of drugs and other related offenses. The embassy official said the suspected traffickers were on transit through the Addis Ababa Airport from countries in South America being points of origin. The official said most of the suspects were heading to Nigeria and some countries in West Africa being their destination points. NAN learnt that various kilogrammes of substances suspected to be cocaine, heroin and other similar drugs were found on the suspects and their luggage by scanners and electronic detectors at the airport. The embassy had confirmed that one of the suspects had died of drugs complications in his organs few days after he was arrested. The officials, who visited the suspects in the various facilities within the city, confirmed that they would soon be arraigned in courts according to international law on drugs trafficking. Meanwhile, no fewer than 18 Nigerians, including four ladies, are serving various jail terms of between five and 14 years by the Ethiopian authorities for similar offence.   Source  ( Allafrica.com)

Ethiopian jailed in China's first khat smuggling case

 An Ethiopian was sentenced to seven months in jail for trafficking khat to China, marking the first such case in the country, which classed the plant as an illegal drug this year. The verdict was handed down earlier this month by the Intermediate People's Court of Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang province. The defendant, Ibrahim Abdulsemed Abdosh, was also fined 30,000 yuan (about $4,878), the judge in the case, Liu Yun, told Xinhua Tuesday. Chinese customs officers at the Hangzhou International Airport found0.63 kilograms of khat carried by the man, who had flown there from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, on January 13, Liu said. She said the man was aware of China's ban on khat, a leafy plant chewed as a stimulant, but attempted to escape the immigration inspection. The plant is widely consumed in Africa but uncommon in China, she said. The World Health Organization has listed khat as a drug of abuse that can create psychological dependence.  Source ( Ecns.cn )

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sudan's wheelbarrow users struggle with high fees

 Interesting news...
In Sudan's capital, Khartoum, about 20,000 people use wheelbarrows to transport goods. But they're not allowed to own their own; wheelbarrows are controlled by local government contractors who charge high rental fees. Workers say it's seriously damaging their earnings.
Hadya Alalawi reports.  Source ( BBC)
Click the link of the video below….


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Group of bloggers have been charged for planning attacks, says a judge

A group of Ethiopian bloggers and journalists detained for nearly three months have been charged with terrorism for having links to an outlawed group and for planning attacks, a judge said Friday.  The seven members of the blogging collective Zone Nine and three journalists were arrested in April, prompting an outcry from rights groups who said the case was an assault on press freedom.  The group is accused of planning attacks in Ethiopia and working in collusion with the US-based opposition group Ginbot 7, labelled by Ethiopian authorities as a terrorist organisation.  “They took training in how to make explosives and planned to train others,” Judge Tareke Alemayehu told the court.  The Zone Nine website, proclaiming “we blog because we care!” features mostly social and political commentary, often critical of the government.  The judge said their work was a cover for “clandestine” activities and accused them of plotting “to destabilise the nation”.  Nine of the accused — one is charged in absentia — smiled and waved to friends and family as they entered the packed courtroom.  The lawyer for eight of the suspects dismissed the charges.  “We don’t believe that there is any credible substance,” Amaha Mekonnen told AFP.  Rights groups have accused Ethiopia of using the anti-terrorism laws to silence dissent and jail critics.  Several journalists have been jailed under the law, including two Swedish journalists sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2012. They were pardoned after serving 15 months.  The dissident blogger Eskinder Nega is currently serving an 18-year sentence for having links with Ginbot 7, which calls for the violent overthrow of the ruling party.  The trial for the bloggers and journalists is expected to resume on August 4.   Source ( AFP)