Ethiopia jails 20 Muslims accused of pursuing Sharia state
By Associated Press
January 3, 2017

Editor's note - The accused have declined to object their accusations on grounds that their charges are unfounded, and hence they wouldn't get fair trial. A defense lawyer has said he would appeal the ruling.

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. All but one received 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 they also were found to be "participating in a movement to secure the release of another Muslim group."

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

Mustafa Safi, the defendants' lawyer, says they didn't receive a fair trial and were not able to pray in detention. He says they will appeal.


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