The federal High Court 19th criminal bench has today found 20 defendants, including two journalists, guilty of terrorism related charges and violating the country's penal code.
The court has adjourned the sentencing until 3 January 2017.
The accused under the file name of the first defendant Kedir Moahmmed Yusuf were charged with several articles of Ethiopia's 2009 infamous anti-terrorism proclamation and the 2004 Penal code. They were first charged in Dec. 2014 and the trial has been ongoing since then.
Accordingly, the 20, all of them Muslims, were charged for contravening article 7(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (652/2009) and articles 32(1) (a) and 38(1) of the FDRE Penal Code of 2004.
They were initially accused of conspiring and entering into an agreement to coerce the government to release 18 members of the Ethiopian Muslim arbitration committee, from custody where they were being tried for terrorism related offenses. However, the charges have grown to include accusations of, among others, "organizing and communicating, including via telephone, to recruit members to incite violence and participating with terrorist organizations."