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Ethiopia: Terrorism Charges Dismissed against ‘Zone 9’ Bloggers
In response to the decision of the Federal High court in Addis Ababa to drop terrorism charges against five members of the Zone 9 bloggers, Freedom House issued the following statement:
"Ethiopia’s court was right to dismiss these absurd charges against the bloggers but should throw out all the remaining accusations,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs. “One of the bloggers, Befeqadu Hailu, is now being charged with inciting violence, a wholly unfounded claim. The bloggers did not commit any crimes and were imprisoned for more than 500 days for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression. The government should release Befeqadu and the dozens of other journalists and human rights defenders jailed because of their work in defense of fundamental rights and freedoms in Ethiopia."
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.