ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia’s federal court has sentenced a prominent dissident blogger to 18 years in prison.
The court on Friday also handed the deputy leader of the Unity for Democracy and Justice opposition party Andualem Arage a life sentence on terror charges.
The journalist Eskinder Nega, who was known for his critical stance on Ethiopia’s government, received a prestigious press freedom award from PEN America in May.
The two were among 24 people found guilty on terror charges last month, though critics of the prosecution said the government was improperly labeling dissent as terrorism.
Mohamed Keita of the Committee to Protect Journalists said the sentences make clear that Ethiopia’s growth and stability are dependent on an iron fist from leadership intolerant of critical reporting.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.