Two Swedish Journalists, Including Johan Persson, Pictured With Camera, Were …
December 27, 2011 by staff
Two Swedish Journalists, Including Johan Persson, Pictured With Camera, Were …, Two Swedish journalists who were found guilty in Ethiopia of supporting t*rror*sm were sentenced to 11 years in jail Tuesday, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said. “Our belief was that the court would think they were journalists and they would be released. This is what the prime minister has said before,” ministry spokesman Anders J?rle said. “It is not fair that they are sentenced since they are journalists on a journalistic mission.”
“They are innocent and have been convicted because of their journalistic work,” said Tomas Olsson, the journalists’ Swedish attorney. “We are very disappointed.”
A court convicted Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye last week.
Ethiopian troops captured Persson and 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.
Ethiopian officials accused the journalists of being accomplices to t*rror*sm after the government declared the Ogaden National Liberation Front a terrorist group in June.
Olsson said the 11-year sentence was the lowest possible one for the crimes they were convicted of.
“The prosecutor sought 18 years imprisonment, so if you look at it that way, it is a positive thing that they got the lowest possible sentence,” Olsson said. “But since they are innocent, they are very disappointed.”
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