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Activist's sentence reduced

Publish date: 04 December 2017
Issue Number: 754
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Ethiopia

Ethiopia's Supreme Court has overruled a decision by the High Court and reduced the jail term of social media activist and political activist Yonatan Tesfaye to three years. The former public relations head of the opposition Blue Party was convicted on a charge of terrorism and sentenced to six years and six months' imprisonment in May. However, his lawyer Shibiru Belete appealed for the terrorism conviction to be set aside. The Addis Standard reports that Tesfaye was first arrested in December 2015. The charges against him were largely drawn from his Facebook activism during last year's nationwide anti-government protests. The Supreme Court ruled that Tesfaye's posts were not connected to 'terrorist organisation', but had the potential to incite violence. It subsequently downgraded the conviction to criminal charges under article 257/A of the 2004 criminal code.

Full Addis Standard report