Ethiopian Police Arrest Debebe Eshetu over Alleged Links to Ginbot 7
Sept. 09 2011
Ethiopian authorities arrested actor Debebe Eshetu on allegations he has links to the banned Ginbot 7 group, said Shimeles Kemal, minister of state in the Communications Ministry.
After being “closely” monitored, Debebe was detained yesterday by federal police and intelligence officials, Shimeles said in a phone interview today from Addis Ababa, the capital. He is being held at the Maekalawi prison and will be brought before court within 48 hours of his arrest, Shimeles said. The court may grant a further 28 days for investigation before charges are brought under the country’s anti-terror laws.
In 2005, Debebe was charged with treason following a disputed election and sentenced to life in prison, according to the state-owned Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency’s website. His request for a pardon was granted by the government, the agency said. Debebe’s latest arrest is on charges of “plotting to carry out a terrorist attack,” ERTA said.
Ginbot 7 is led by Berhanu Nega, who was elected mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005. He was also imprisoned for plotting to overthrow the government and fled to the U.S. to set up the organization after being pardoned in 2007.