The prominent human rights activist Yalemzewd Bekele and top businessman Alemayehu Fantu have been charged of attempting to overthrow the existing Ethiopian government. The two were both arrested by the Federal police last October for disseminating the civil disobedience calendar which calls for non-violent actions from the citizenry until imprisoned political leaders are freed. EZ Post reported that Alemayehu Fantu was tortured then.
The charge was filed by the prosecutor last week. The defendants were due in court today. In the charge the prosecutor alleged that Yalemzewd Bekele and Alemayehu Fantu, jointly and severally, with the intention to dismantle the constitution through violence, and to obstruct the exercise of constitutional powers, having fully participated directly and indirectly in criminal act and consequences thereof, had designed and printed a calendar which lists 14 forms of struggle under the title ""I will fight for the release of our leaders, will you?", and had attempted to overthrow the government in power, to obstruct its functions,to disturb the authorities, and impede their functions, by creating in them fear, insecurity, and lack of self-confidence, and especially, to destroy the economy.
The charge entails fifteen years imprisonment. Yalemzewd was this year's nominee for the Bindman's Law and Campaigning Award for her projects relating to civil society and women's rights. Alemayehu is one of the most respected businessmen in Addis Ababa.
See Today's court proceeding on the case of Hailu Shawel et al below.
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- ▼ July (13)