Ethiopian court jails journalist for defaming powerful clergy

A court in Ethiopia has handed a one-year jail sentence to a journalist on charges of defaming senior clergy members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Prosecutors had pushed for a three-year jail term.

The Addis Standard news portal reports that Getachew Worku, the editor-in-chief of the weekly Amharic independent newspaper, Ethio-Mihidar, spent over a week in police custody before ruling was delivered.

The Orthodox Church initiated the case following the publication of an article alleging corruption on the part of senior members of Saint Mary’s Patriarchal Monastery located in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Prosecutors argued for his sentence with the view that Getachew had breached Ethiopia’s criminal code article 613 under “defamation and spreading false information.”

The Church has yet to comment on the ruling as at time of filing this report.

 

Africa news/Zainab Sa’id