See also:
» 19.03.2011 - Ethiopia crackdown on opposition to prevent protests
» 07.10.2010 - Ethiopia urged to free all political prisoners
» 22.12.2009 - Five sentenced to death and 33 to life
» 17.12.2009 - Sweden minister speaks on freedom of expression in Ethiopia
» 08.12.2009 - RSF condemns closure of newspaper in Ethiopia
» 08.07.2009 - Amnesty International warns Ethiopia on new anti terrorism law
» 26.05.2009 - Alleged coup plotters denied bail
» 05.05.2009 - AI calls on Ethiopian govt to reveal fate of political prisoners

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Human rights | Society | Politics

32 alleged coup plotters charged in Ethiopia

afrol News, 9 June - Ethiopian authorities have charged 32 alleged coup plotters for allegedly planning to assassinate government officials and to disrupt public utilities in the capital Addis Ababa.

Local reports have said a group of men who were arrested in April for planning to overthrow the Ethiopian regime and were ordered to stay behind bars in May while prosecution was preparing to lay the charges.

The men are charged with conspiracy to kill government officials and demolish public utilities, according to senior government officials.

The accused, a majority of whom are former and serving military officers from a terror network formed by Opposition leader Berhanu Nega, had been denied visitation rights since their arrest over a month ago.

Human rights activists have condemned the detention, saying the suspects' detention was unconstitutional. The detention was also widely criticised by international rights organizations after families complained of being denied visitation rights by the police.

However, the government had turned a blind eye on the accused, pretending that it was not aware that the accused rights were being violated.

Reports further said some of the officers have been brutally tortured by the secret police, while their lawyers are also not allowed to consult their clients including being shut out of court hearing.

Ethiopian authorities have named only two of the prisoners despite numerous calls from international rights groups that they name and charge all the 41 detainees.

Ethiopia is well known for quashing opposition voices, with the secret security forces having reportedly killed close to 200 protesters after the parliamentary elections in 2005 when the opposition disputed the victory of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government.

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