Ethiopia reduces charges against Swedish journalists
The two Swedish journalists facing trial for terrorism in Ethiopia have had some of the charges against them dropped. Photographer Johan Persson and reporter Martin Schibbye no longer face the charge of participating in terrorism but are still accused of supporting terrorism, which they deny, and of entering Ethiopia illegally, which they admit.
At the Federal High Court in Addis Ababa on 3 November, Judge Shemsu Sirgaga ruled that the pair must present their defence on 6 December. If found guilty they could receive a sentence of up to 15 years in jail.
The journalists were arrested on 1 July in the remote southeastern Ogaden region of Ethiopia near the Somali border. They stand accused of entering the country with members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a rebel group outlawed by the Ethiopian government.
During the trial the prosecution presented video footage showing the pair travelling in the Ogaden region, as well as handling machine guns, and said that they were in Ogaden to meet ONLF and to