UN officer jailed for terrorism

2012-06-22 21:12
<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">Shuttertstock</a>

Shuttertstock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - A United Nations worker found guilty of participating in a terrorist group in Ethiopia was on Friday sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison.

Abdurahman Sheikh Hassan, an Ethiopian, was found guilty of "participating in a terrorist organisation" earlier this week over alleged links to the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), an outlawed secessionist rebel group.

"Under the guise of his job, he has been passing information to a terrorist organisation with the aim to help them," Judge Mulugeta Kidane said, delivering the sentence.

Hassan appeared in court on Friday holding Muslim prayer beads.

He shook his lawyer's hand after she translated the sentence to him as Hassan does not speak Ethiopia's main language Amharic.

He was sentenced along with Sherif Badio, whom the charge sheet lists as a senior member of the ONLF. Badio was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for "serving as a leader or a decision maker in a terrorist organisation".

Collaboration

Hassan, the head of UN security in Ethiopia's troubled Ogaden region, was arrested last July after he helped to negotiate the release of two UN World Food Programme hostages.

According to the charge sheet, the hostages were kidnapped by members of the ONLF.

The judge said Hassan failed to prove he did not have links to the ONLF and said he was guilty of collaborating with Badio.

UN officials were not available for comment on Friday.

Mulugeta said the severity of the crimes called for "a high level of punishment", adding that Hassan was not given the maximum sentence for his charge - ten years in prison - since he has no prior criminal record.

The men were sentenced under Ethiopia's anti-terrorism legislation, which rights groups have criticised for being far-reaching and used to stifle peaceful dissent.

In December, two Swedish journalists were sentenced to 11 years in prison after an Ethiopian court found them guilty of supporting the ONLF in the Ogaden, a region that borders Somalia.

Terrorism trials

Twenty-four people, including prominent journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition member Andualem Arage, are currently on trial on charges of terrorism. Eskinder was arrested after publishing an article questioning arrests under the anti-terrorism legislation.

The verdict in that case, which has been twice delayed, is expected on Wednesday. The 24 could face the death penalty if found guilty.

ONLF militants have been fighting for independence from Addis Ababa since 1984, claiming they have been marginalised by the ruling government.

Recent oil and gas discoveries in Ogaden have brought hopes of wealth but also fresh fears of conflict.

Read more on:    un  |  ethiopia  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.