Swedish journalists in Ethiopia sentenced
Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, the two Swedish journalists that were captured in Ethiopia six months ago, have been sentenced to 11 years each in jail for entering the country illegally and for supporting terrorism. The two men were captured in Ethiopia with rebels from the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), but maintain they only did their job as journalists. Prosecutors had asked for even longer sentences (up to 18 years), however, the Judge let it go at 11, saying: “This sentence should satisfy the goal of peace and security.” The Swedes’ lawyer, Abebe Balcha, said they would wait to decide whether to appeal or not. The convictions of Schibbye and Persson have been heavily criticized by human rights groups (Amnesty International being one of them) and the Swedish government. Both men deny terrorism charges, including claims that they had been given weapons training.