Ethiopia Detains 29, Including Opposition Members

Posted September 5th, 2011 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The Ethiopian government says it has detained 29 people, including several opposition members, across the country on terrorism-related charges.

Government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said Monday that the suspects were involved in terrorist activities. He says they are also linked to the rebel Oromo Liberation Front.

Among those detained are two prominent opposition politicians arrested last week. Bekele Gerba, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federal Democratic Movement (OFDM) and Olbana Lelisa of the Oromo People's Congress were arrested after giving interviews about the country's political climate and a spate of recent arrests.

Opposition leaders and rights groups have accused the government of carrying out a series of politically motivated detentions in an effort to silence political dissent, particularly from members of the Oromo ethnic group.

Recently two Ethiopian journalists who were critical of the government were arrested and are facing similar charges of involvement in terrorist activities.