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The opposition leaders say the government controls the court
Ethiopia's opposition leaders are among 129 people who have gone on trial for treason and attempted genocide.
None of the accused answered questions, saying the trial was political. Some wore black t-shirts and put their hands over their mouths when asked to plead.
The charges relate to last November's street clashes that killed 46 people over disputed polls in May, won by Prime Minster Meles Zenawi's party.
The opposition claimed the polls had been rigged - charges Mr Meles denies.
One of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) leaders, Berhanu Nega, said the court was controlled by Mr Meles, who had already found them guilty.
Some diplomats told the BBC they feared that the trial could drag on for a long time.
They pointed out that the trial of those accused of mass murder under the former regime of Haile Mengistu Mariam is still underway 15 years after it began.
Thirty-five of the accused are abroad and are being tried in absentia.
As well as CUD officials, the accused include journalists and civil rights activists.
The genocide charges relate to alleged attacks on members of Mr Meles' Tigrayan community.
Mr Meles has come under strong international criticism amid allegations that his government is reneging on democratic commitments.
Some 8,000 people have been freed since opposition arrests after two waves of poll protests in June and November in which more than 80 people died.
Ethiopia opposition refuse plea in treason, genocide trial
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Professor, a prisoner of conscience, in Ethiopian jail
The Virginia Pilot
We proud of you our heroes and the real sons and daughters of Ethiopia!!! We will intensify our struggle. Reality unfold itself very soon.This is only a desperate measure of the dictators.
God bless the true sons and daghters!!!
I am grateful that we are not alone in our fight for freedom from the TPLF/EPRDF racist-mafia-dictatorship in our country of Ethiopia. The main genuine organisation in the world that stands for freedom of people is “Amnesty International”. I express my deepest appreciation for Amnesty to stand by our side to stop the kidnapping, torture, jailing, and killing of unarmed civilians in our country being perpetrated by the dictatorship. Please find below an extract from their press release.
Meles will not kill the oppositions..he’ll keep them in jail till thing settle down or release them when situtation gets ugly. thanks for the international community for supporting the vampire in financial & political aide…As for the US…your same question comes back to you! ” You are with the people of ethiopia or against it"….you help catch our Bin Ladin..we’ll help catch yours!…if not!! you just lost another friendly nation…and i don’t think you can afford to lose your friends any more!! cause you already lost EU. Our galant people..whether our enemies like it or not..will be victorious…it maybe slow..but for sure! The CUD leader proofed that facing the devil is the solution for ethiopia.
People’s revolution will prevail.
Peace, love & unity for my belove ethiopia!
THE HEROES OF ETHIOPIA WE LOVE U
LET US FIGHT POVERTY
LET US FIGHT AIDS
LET US HAVE KNOWLDGE
WE HAVE A WUNDERFULL COUNTRY
WE HAVE A WUNDERFULL PEOPLE
LET US UNITE NOT DIVIDE
LET US LOVE EACHT OTHER NOT HATE
NO MORE MELES NO MORE EVILS
OROMO TIGRE GURAGE WELAMMO SOMALIA
HADERE KEMBATÀ ANUAK MURSI AFAR WERGI SILTE ARUSI SIDAMA TIGRE AGEW AMARA WEZETE WE ARE ALL PROUD PEOPLE FROM ETHIOPIA
ONE LOVE ONE ETHIOPIA
WE ARE A
Yes, they are our heroes and I personnaly proud of these people the way they go. However, as usual, my fear is the stupid, nasty and arogant strategy of EPRDF. They will throw somebody, who is a threat for them, to jail and they do not want to remember him for 10 or more years which, in their mind, will cause the population not to rememeber the person. This time things are quite different and I believe the people may not be quite and will not leave aside the struggle. Anyways, they are brave even not to give an answer for the stupid kangaroo cout today.
The Woyane thugs can not prolong their stay by fabricating false accusation against innocent people. The action of the murderers only hastens their down fall. The thugs seems confused and do not know what to do. CUD did not murder innocent children and elderly people. The Woyane thugs will rip what they saw pretty soon.
Victory to the oppressed!!
why the rest of the world do not support eprdf? Tigres! are you seeing that you nonesense bandas you will disappear not only from addis abeba but also from the whole of Ethiopia and go back to serve your Ertrean owners.
Guiding ethical principles/core values,
Global social justice,democracy, universal human right. human security, rule of low, transnational solidarity,
Evan within the boundaries of old established communities, cultural and political identity is often disputed by and across social classes, gender divisions, local allegiances, ethinc groupings and the generations.
Konfiransiin barsiisotaa dhimmoota adeemsa baruufi barsiisuu wajjin wal qabatan irratti xiyyeeffatee adeemsifamu kun adeemsi barnootaa naannoo keenyaa caalmaan akka fooyya’uuf ga’ee bu’a qabeessa
ኣንተ፡ ሌባ፡ ባንዳ ።
ኦፒዲኦ፡ ነው፡ ጽፎ፡ የሰጠህ፡ ኣሮምኛዉን፡ ኦሮሞ፡ እንድትመስል።
ዎያኔን፡ ሚደግፉ፡ ትግሬዎች፡ ብቻ፡ ናቸዉና። የትግሬ፡ ዉሻ፡ ኦፒዲኦ፡ ካልሆንክ፡ በተቀረ።
ሞት፡ ለዎያኔና፡ ለዉሾቻቸዉ።
ጀግኖቻችን፡ የኢትዮጵያ፡ ማንዴላዎች፡ ኣይዞኣችሁ።
Official Response to EPRDF government allegations
Alleged defendants (40-69)
February 23, 2006
In re: Hailu Shawel et. al.
To: The Second Circuit Federal High Court;
TO: The Prosecuting Attorney;
And To: Ethiopian Ministry of Justice
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
EACH and ALL OF YOU, PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that we, the alleged defendants numbered 40-69, in the above captioned action appear only for the limited purpose of submitting this response to the baseless, frivolous, and completely fabricated allegations lodged against us by the current Ethiopian government. Please be strongly advised that by appearing herein, for limited purposes, WE DO NOT WAIVE any present or future challenges, including but not limited to, sufficiency of service, the courts jurisdiction over alleged defendants, proper venue of action, legitimacy or qualification of the tribunal or presiding judges, defenses, or any procedural or substantive grounds of the allegations against us.
We, majority of the alleged defendants, are law abiding and democratic patriots living and working outside of Ethiopia. We did not advocate, engaged, supported, or joined in any unlawful activities abroad or in Ethiopia. We are merely exercising our constitutional and global human rights of freedom of speech. Although majority of us align ourselves with groups and parties struggling for peace, democracy and justice in a non-violence movement, we did not take part or encouraged any individual, group, or party to engage in violence against persons or property.
Therefore, the current Ethiopian government’s allegation that we aided and abetted in the post election violence, genocide, treason lacks sheer basis in law or fact. As extensively documented by objective and neutral media outlets, and international human rights and other observers, it is the EPRDF regime that engaged in callous killings of unarmed civilians including children, women, and the elderly-both prior and subsequent to the May election. Consequently, for violence, loss of lives, and property EPDRF is solely responsible, not the opposition party members or the Diaspora, or the alleged defendants.
Undisputedly, this court has been engaged in flagrant violation of the constitution by denying citizens a right to bail, failed to free citizens detained absent probable cause or warrant, and denied defendants’ right to counsel. Accordingly, we have agreed that further participation in this illegitimate and unfair judicial proceeding will only give the court a semblance of legitimacy. In other words, we will not appear in this court and justify injustice. Notwithstanding our position regarding this court or the judiciary in general, we hereby respectfully demand the following from the court:
The immediate and unconditional dismissal of all the fabricated charges against us and order the prosecutor to issue a public apology to all defendants; The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including, publicly elected officials, journalists, students and others in detention without further delay; and, The court on its own motion summons, or the attorney general charges the current Ethiopian top officials, the actual responsible parties, with genocide, treason, and abuse of power.
EXECUTED at N. America and Europe on this day of February 23, 2006. DEFENDANTS # 40-69
We need to take appropriate legal action against Melesse and the TPLF/EPLF leaders for the crimes they committed (and committing) on Ethiopia and Ethiopians in the last fifteen years of mis-rules. Legal precedence has already been established that leaders of many countries that committed crimes of genocide, treason, murders, and state sponsored terrorism have been charged, imprisoned, and sanctioned. Leaders of the Nazi party in Germany, the Fascists in Italy, Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, Serbia’s (old Yugoslavia) Slobodan Milosevic, and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein all have faced justice. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is in process. Yes, they have faced justice for the heinous crimes they committed. Court proceedings can be processed in US and other west European courts. This should be done immediately. This will send a clear message. Message that there will not be any place for psychopathic leaders who enjoy committing genocide, treason, murders, and state sponsored terrorism.
YIRGACHEFE,ante yemeles wesha,kemeles gar yemtemotebet,eskeziaw deres yemitalelehen bella,afer billana
that is it the jugde should consider them guilty and kill them that all and let us continue for development. this opositon parties took our time. let them Ato Adil give them the verdict hung or each one shoot on head finish
Why don’t you mention Mengistu H/m.
Is it because he is Amhara? Humm…I thought you defend for the the oppressed and for democracy. By the way CUD’s leader will face justice and they will pay the price. THE RULE OF LAW HAS TO BE RESPECTED NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY PAPER TIGER.
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