A group of Ethiopian bloggers and journalists detained for nearly three months have been charged with terrorism for having links to an outlawed group and for planning attacks, a judge said on Friday.
The seven members of the blogging collective Zone Nine and three journalists were arrested in April, prompting an outcry from rights groups who said the case was an assault on Press freedom.
The group is accused of planning attacks in Ethiopia and working in collusion with the US-based opposition group Ginbot 7, labelled by Ethiopian authorities as a terrorist organisation.
“They took training in how to make explosives and planned to train others,” Judge Tareke Alemayehu told the court.
The Zone Nine website, proclaiming “we blog because we care”, features mostly social and political commentary, often critical of the government.
The judge said their work was a cover for “clandestine” activities and accused them of plotting “to destabilise the nation”. Nine of the accused — one is charged in absentia — smiled and waved to friends and family as they entered the packed courtroom. — Sapa-AFP.
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