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Yearbook 2011

Ethiopia. According to Countryaah official site, Ethiopia's controversial anti-terrorism law, adopted in 2009, came into frequent use this year. The law has been criticized for such sweeping wordings that it has been feared to be used to stave off all political debate.

2011 Ethiopia

In November, human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch urged the Ethiopian government to stop using the Anti-Terrorism Act to arrest journalists and oppositionists. Then, just the editor of one of the few independent newspapers, Dawit Kebede, who headed the Awramba Times, had fled the country since a state newspaper had called on the authorities to arrest him.

During the autumn, three separate trials, all of the alleged terrorism, went on against a total of ten journalists and dozens of other persons, among them several well-known opposition.

Two of the defendants were the Swedish freelance reporters Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, who were arrested in July after having entered Ethiopia illegally with the help of the guerrilla movement Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). In December, they were sentenced to eleven years in prison for supporting a terrorist organization and for illegal entry into the country.

More than 1,700 Ethiopian soldiers were stationed in August at the UN mission in the Abyei area of ​​southern Sudan, at the border with the new state of South Sudan. Abyei is one of the areas where disagreement prevails over the border demarcation.

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