Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ethiopian court convicts 2 Swedish journalists on terrorism charges - 21st Dec 2011

Sweden's prime minister wants two Swedish journalists who were found guilty Wednesday of supporting terrorism in Ethiopia to be freed and returned home as soon as possible, saying they were on a "journalistic mission."

The pair could face more than 18 years in prison. Their next court appearance is scheduled for December 27 and sentencing could occur then.

Ethiopian troops captured Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye in July during an exchange of gunfire with a rebel group in the Ogaden, a prohibited region along the nation's border with Somalia, according to state media.

Ethiopians officials have accused the journalists of being accomplices to terrorism after the government declared the Ogaden National Liberation Front a terrorist group in June.

"Our starting point is and remains that they have been in the country on a journalistic mission," Swedish Prime Minister Frederick Reinfeldt said in a statement. "They should be freed as soon as possible and be able to rejoin their families in Sweden." Read More