Yonatan sentenced to six & half years jail term for his Facebook post

Posted on 25 May,2017



(Dire Tube News, Addis Ababa)— Yonatan Tesfaye, the former Spokesperson of Semayawi (Blue), an opposition Party, has been sentenced to six and half years term of prison for he was found guilty of “encouraging terrorism” for comments he made on his Facebook page.


The court’s decision was passed on Thursday’s court hearing.

A court found him guilty on May 16 and adjourned to Thursday, May 25, 2017.

He was arrested in December 2015 as a wave of anti-government protests in the Oromia region was gathering momentum.

A section of Ethiopia’s anti-terror law stipulates that anyone who makes a statement that could be seen as encouraging people to commit an act of terror can be prosecuted.

In a translation of the charge sheet by the Ethiopian Human Rights Project that details the Facebook comments, Mr. Yonatan allegedly said: “I am telling you to destroy [the ruling party’s] oppressive materials… Now is the time to make our killers lame.”

The authorities objected to several posts including one in which Yonatan said the government used “force against the people instead of peaceful discussion”.

Ethiopia has been criticized for using anti-terror laws to silence dissent and by different international human right advocates and opposition political parties.