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Terrorism: Ethiopia arrests journalist, opposition figures

Posted on Thursday, 15 September 2011 15:38

Ethiopia on Thursday arrested a journalist and four members of the opposition, which it says are linked to a banned political party.

Police said the five had links with the Ginbot 7 party classified as a terrorist organisation by the authorities.

The suspects were allegedly planning to various terrorist attacks across the country.

“They were arrested after police got permission from a court to inspect their homes,” police said.

“We have found evidences for their preparation to take terrorist activities by collaborating with Ginbot 7.”

Ginbot 7 is based in the United States.

The authorities say the five suspects were detained and pardoned in connection with the 2005 election violence after they were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The arrests were the second this month after 29 people linked to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which Ethiopia has also classified a terrorist group.

Police said the suspects including the five will be charged with terrorism soon.

“The federal police together with the joint effort by the National Intelligence and Security Service were closely following their works and information that have been made with the Ginbot 7 party,” police said.

The 29 were members of MEDREK (Forum) opposition party, which includes its Vice President Andualem Arage.

Two Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martic Schibbye were last week also charged with terrorism after they were caught while trying to cross the Ethiopia-Somalia border with rebel fighters from the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).

The two were injured in the fighting between the rebels and Ethiopian troops. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government also regards ONLF, which claims to be fighting for the independence of the Ogaden region as a terrorist group.

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