Activist Nigist Yirga charged with terrorism for participating in peaceful protest: January 13th hearing

Activist Nigist Yirga who has been jailed for participating in a peaceful protest in Gondar, Ethiopia charged with terrorism after spending over four months in Maekelawi Federal Police Investigation Bureau. She was kidnapped in Gondar in September and soon brought to Maekelawi.

Nigist Yirga is known for a viral photo, wearing a t-shirt showing portrait of Col. Demeke Zewdu who is considered as a leader of the protests in the Amhara region and now in jail, which she posed in the Amhara protests in Gondar town in July 2016.

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Amahara Protest in Gondar

Federal prosecutor has filed terrorism charges against activist Nigist Yirga and 5 others on 6th Jan 2017 and delivered the charge sheet for the defendants on 9 Jan 2017 at the Federal High Court Lideta Branch 4th criminal bench.

Nigist Yirga et al are charged with terrorism for “…working with the outlawed Arbegnoch Ginbot-7 group in organizing and mobilizing as well as participating in ‘illegal’ protests held in some parts of Amahara region specially in North Gondar”.

As indicated in the prosecutor’s charge sheet, defendants are charged for violating articles 3/4/6 of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Activist Nigist Yirga is first defendant of the case.

Federal High Court Lideta Branch 4th criminal bench adjourned the hearing to Jan 18, 2017 to read charge.

List of defendants in Nigist Yirga et al charge file:-

  1. Nigist Yirga Tefera (age 24, North Gondar)
  2. Alemneh Wassie (age 57, North Gondar)
  3. Tewodros Telay (age 18, North Gondar)
  4. Awoke Abate (age 31, Addis Ababa)
  5. Belayneh Alemneh Abeje (age 29, Bahir Dar)
  6. Yared Girma Hailu (age 46, Addis Ababa)

Activist Nigist Yirga is now transferred to Kality maximum security prison and 5 others are in Qilinto prison.
Download the Amharic version of the charges here

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