30 Ethiopian Opposition Leaders Jailed for Life!
Protest today in Washington DC!
9:00 AM march to the White House
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The Ethiopian Regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi announced that the opposition leaders will be jailed for life for their involvement in the protests following the elections in 2005.
193 Ethiopians were killed in the violence following the failed elections.
There is a video of the June 2005 Massacre on YouTube HERE (Approx. 6 minutes)
Ethiopia’s high court on Monday sentenced 35 opposition leaders to life imprisonment for inciting rebellion, after the prosecution had asked for the death penalty.
Those sentenced in the wake of violence that rocked the capital during 2005 elections included Hailu Shawl and Bernahu Nega, two senior leaders of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) party.
Five of the life sentences handed down by the court sitting in Kaliti, some 25 kilometres (16 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa, were given in absentia.
Eight of the 38 defendants present received prison terms ranging from 18 months to 18 years from judge Adil Ahmed.
“Even though some of the accused have been found guilty of multiple charges the court has deemed life imprisonment as a sufficient and comprehensive verdict for the action taken. The culprits are liable to appeal,” Adil said.
Prosecutors last week had requested the death penalty for 38 of the defendants, who were among scores put on trial on charges of inciting the violence following the disputed polls which the ruling party won but the opposition claims were rigged.
“According to the country’s penal code maximum punishment should be dealt to parties found guilty of plotting against the constitution,” chief prosecutor Abraha Tetemke had said on July 9.
After the elections in Ethiopia in May 2005 and after Jimmy Carter had approved of the results before the ballots were counted and flew back to the states, several hundred Ethiopians took to the streets to protest for democracy. Police opened fire on crowds in Addis Ababa in June, killing at least 37 people and heralding a massive crackdown on the opposition. Fresh violence erupted on Tuesday, November 8, 2005, leaving at least 46 more people dead.
ShiBire Desalegn is the first person to be killed when Meles Zenawi unleashed his forces following a peaceful protest by Addis Ababa University (AAU) students on June 6, 2005. She was shot and killed by EPRDF troops as she and her friends tried to block the road in Kotebe that leads to the Sendafa torture camp. They were protesting the elections that they claimed were stolen by the Meles regime. Over 193 protesters were killed in the violence following the elections. Most of those were protesters killed by the regime.
Ethiopian protesters before the slaughter by the Meles Regime. (ABC News)
And, after the government opened fire.