Ethiopian court sentences UN staff to seven years in prison
Awramba Times (AddisAbaba) The federal high court in Addis Ababa has sentenced a United Nations guard to seven years in prison for communicating with the banned Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).
Abdirahman Sheikh Hassan was imprisoned for 7 years and 8 months for contacting the Ogaden National Liberation Front, Judge Mulugeta Kidane told the court before delivering his verdict. “Under the guise of his job, he has been passing information to a terrorist organization with the aim to help them,” said the Judge.
The case makes a “mockery of justice,” the ONLF said. Abdirahman was part of a UN team negotiating the release of the hostages with the ONLF’s foreign secretary, the group said in a June 19 statement. “If contacting ONLF was a crime, why were other UN officers who contacted ONLF not charged too?” the ONLF said.
Human rights watch and Amnesty international have criticized Ethiopia’s 2009 “anti-terrorism” legislation for being far-reaching and used to stifle peaceful dissent and freedom of expression.