Ethiopia opposition leader charged with inciting unrest

AP News
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Posted: Mar 04, 2017 8:45 AM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A prominent Ethiopian politician arrested after meeting European lawmakers last year has pleaded not guilty to inciting unrest in a country that remains under a state of emergency after anti-government protests.

Merara Gudina, who leads the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, was charged Friday after being arrested upon his return from Brussels in November. He had spoken to the European lawmakers about Ethiopia's human rights situation after months of protests demanding wider political freedoms.

Fellow opposition member Tiruneh Gemta on Saturday said Merara is also accused of making contact with banned media outlets overseas.

Tiruneh told The Associated Press that the charge is a personal attack against Merara.

Merara last year was charged with violating the state of emergency imposed in October, but the charges were later dropped.