5:13 pm - Tuesday April 18, 5950

Amnesty: 'Conviction for Facebook post is shameful'

Rights body Amnesty international has called the conviction of an Ethiopian opposition politician for his Facebook posts “a shameful affront to people’s right to express themselves”.

Yonatan Tesfaye was found guilty earlier today of “encouraging terrorism” over posts he wrote two years ago, accusing the government of using “force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion” to end protests in the restive Oromia region.

Amnesty’s Michelle Kagari accused Ethiopian authorities of misusing anti-terrorism laws:

Today’s verdict is a miscarriage of justice. It is yet another example of how the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation is used to target and destroy people who criticize the government.

All Yonatan did was express himself online. This is not a crime, yet he now faces up to 20 years in jail under this draconian and deeply-flawed law. ”

 Yonatan, a former spokesman of the opposition Semayawi (Blue) Party, was arrested in December 2015. He will be sentenced on 25 May.
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