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Ethiopia jails Swedish journalists

 
 
 
 
 
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Journalists Johan Persson (L) and Martin Schibbye

Two Swedish journalists have been sentenced to 11 years in prison in Ethiopia for supporting terrorism and illegally entering the African state.

Reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson were arrested in July after entering the eastern province of Ogaden from Somalia.

“The court has sentenced both defendants to 11 years. We have heard both cases… and we believe this is an appropriate sentence,” Judge Shemsu Sirgaga told the court on Tuesday.

The journalists had also been charged with terrorism but were acquitted in November on that count, as the court did not believe they were involved in carrying out any attacks.

The two Swedes did admit to crossing the border without a permit.

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Anders Jorle called the sentencing expected but regrettable.

He said Sweden has been in contact with the Ethiopian government over the court case “at a high level.”

The defendants’ lawyers plan to hold a meeting at the Swedish Embassy later Tuesday to discuss the possibility of an appeal.

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  • BG

    It’s far more entertaining for swedes to cut them loose.

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