Ethiopia jails 20 Muslims accused of pursuing Sharia state

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By Elias Meseret | AP

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — An Ethiopian court has sentenced 20 Muslims to prison after they were found guilty of trying to establish a state ruled by Sharia law and inciting violence.

They were charged under Ethiopia’s controversial anti-terrorism law and convicted last month. All but one received prison terms of five and a half years. Two were journalists working for a Muslim radio station.

The state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate, citing the court ruling, said Tuesday that the 20 defendants also were found to be “participating in a movement to secure the release of another Muslim group that was under detention.”

Muslims have long felt marginalized in Ethiopia and have carried out a number of protests since 2011. Some were met with force, and many protest leaders were jailed.

“The defendants didn’t get a fair trial. In fact, we didn’t expect the court to give a fair verdict,” Mustafa Safi, the defendants’ lawyer, told The Associated Press. “They were subjected to both a mistrial and a bad treatment at the infamous Kilinto detention center. They were even unable to pray there. But we will appeal the sentencing anyway.”

The defendants had been trying to secure the release of a group of Muslims that had formed to counter government interference in their religious affairs but was detained on terror-related charges. Five members of that group were pardoned in September.

Ethiopia, a strong security ally of the West, is often accused of stifling dissent and jailing opposition groups and critical journalists. The country is currently under a state of emergency declared in October following widespread anti-government protests demanding greater political freedoms.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

4 Comments

  1. WE MUST REDEFINE THE TERM “TERRORISM”In THE CURRENT TPLF REGIME OF ETHIOPIA.WHO EVER SPEAK OR WRITE EVEN LISTELISTEN TO THE RADIO OR WATCH TV, WHICH EXPOSED THE REGIMES CRIME REST ASSURED HE WILL BE LABRLLED AS TERRORIST AND THROWN TO PRISON INDEFINITELY OR KILLED
    WELCOME TO THE ETHO-APARTHIEDR REGIME OF TPLF IN ETHIOPIA FOR THE LAST 25 YEARS.

  2. WE MUST REDEFINE THE TERM “TERRORISM”In THE CURRENT TPLF REGIME OF ETHIOPIA.WHO EVER SPEAK OR WRITE EVEN LISTELISTEN TO THE RADIO OR WATCH TV, WHICH EXPOSED THE REGIMES CRIME REST ASSURED HE WILL BE LABRLLED AS TERRORIST AND THROWN TO PRISON INDEFINITELY OR KILLED
    WELCOME TO THE ETHO-APARTHIEDR REGIME OF TPLF IN ETHIOPIA FOR THE LAST 25 YEARS.

  3. “An Ethiopian court has sentenced 20 Muslims to prison after they were found guilty of trying to establish a state ruled by Sharia law and inciting violence.”
    For starters every court in Ethiopia, especially as it deals with religious and political issues, is a Kangaroo court.
    A kangaroo court is a judicial tribunal or assembly that blatantly disregards recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides.
    Therefore no Ethiopian in his/her right mind will accept the decision on an Ethiopian court. The court is an arm of terrorist TPLF regime and its main purpose it to jail, rape, kill and/or loot any one who is perceived to be a treat or challenge to the regime’s iron grip of Ethiopians in all aspects of their life. As a slave master controls his/her slave.
    Also, Sharia law is already in practice in some muslim population in Ethiopia. According to wiki in present day Ethiopia.
    Sharia courts have jurisdiction on cases regarding marriage, divorce, maintenance, guardianship of minors (only if both parties are Muslims). Also included are cases concerning waqfs, gifts, succession, or wills, provided that donor is a Muslim or deceased was a Muslim at time of death.”
    Moreover, part of Sharia law in practiced in 32 African countries and many other countries across the globe.
    These people are accused of trying to establish a state governed by Sharia law. What state? As there are no states in Ethiopia but only regions based on ethnicity. If the state is in reference to the whole country, the claim is a pipe dream. The reason being, Ethiopian society dominated by deep Christian values will never ever allow the whole Ethiopia to be governed by Sharia law.
    Sharia law courtesy of Ethiopian muslims is a lot more superior than the atheist devil worshiping terrorist TPLF law, should I say lawlessness.
    Lastly, an inquiring man wants to know whatever happened to religious freedom which supposedly is enshrined in Ethiopian constitution. If a group of muslims want to live by sharia law, isn’t that their right as long as it is not imposed on others, of all faith including muslims, who don’t want to have anything to do with it.

  4. “An Ethiopian court has sentenced 20 Muslims to prison after they were found guilty of trying to establish a state ruled by Sharia law and inciting violence.”
    For starters every court in Ethiopia, especially as it deals with religious and political issues, is a Kangaroo court.
    A kangaroo court is a judicial tribunal or assembly that blatantly disregards recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides.
    Therefore no Ethiopian in his/her right mind will accept the decision on an Ethiopian court. The court is an arm of terrorist TPLF regime and its main purpose it to jail, rape, kill and/or loot any one who is perceived to be a treat or challenge to the regime’s iron grip of Ethiopians in all aspects of their life. As a slave master controls his/her slave.
    Also, Sharia law is already in practice in some muslim population in Ethiopia. According to wiki in present day Ethiopia.
    Sharia courts have jurisdiction on cases regarding marriage, divorce, maintenance, guardianship of minors (only if both parties are Muslims). Also included are cases concerning waqfs, gifts, succession, or wills, provided that donor is a Muslim or deceased was a Muslim at time of death.”
    Moreover, part of Sharia law in practiced in 32 African countries and many other countries across the globe.
    These people are accused of trying to establish a state governed by Sharia law. What state? As there are no states in Ethiopia but only regions based on ethnicity. If the state is in reference to the whole country, the claim is a pipe dream. The reason being, Ethiopian society dominated by deep Christian values will never ever allow the whole Ethiopia to be governed by Sharia law.
    Sharia law courtesy of Ethiopian muslims is a lot more superior than the atheist devil worshiping terrorist TPLF law, should I say lawlessness.
    Lastly, an inquiring man wants to know whatever happened to religious freedom which supposedly is enshrined in Ethiopian constitution. If a group of muslims want to live by sharia law, isn’t that their right as long as it is not imposed on others, of all faith including muslims, who don’t want to have anything to do with it.

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