Swedish Reporters Sentenced to 11 Yrs in Ethiopia

27 Dec

A court in Ethiopia has sentenced two Swedish journalists to 11 years in prison.

The two freelance reporters — Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye — were found guilty by a court last week of supporting terrorism after the pair illegally entered the country with an ethnic Somali rebel group.

Judge Shemsu Sirgaga ruled Tuesday that the two should be sentenced to 11 years each of “rigorous imprisonment.”

Ethiopian troops captured Persson and Schibbye six months ago during a clash with rebels in eastern Ethiopia’s restive Somali region, a no-go area for reporters. Ethiopia considers the rebel group a terrorist organization, and it is very difficult for journalists to gain access to the region. Rights groups say that is so abuses there are not exposed.


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