Reporters Without Borders has learnt today that the court in Addis Ababa granted the police investigating the case against the 6 bloggers and three journalists, 28 more days for further investigations. The police notably claimed they were unable to access the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the detainees, which were reportedly disabled after the hearing on May 7th and 8th.
According to the Eastern Africa Journalists Association ’s Secretary general, Alexis Niyungeko. “The request by the police for more time to conduct further investigations clearly shows that the three journalists and six bloggers were arrested without sufficient evidence”.
Following today’s hearing, the news providers are now being officially charged under the country’s infamous anti-terrorism proclamation of 2009, which can carry imprisonments sentences from 5 to 10 years.
During today’s hearing, a witness said that Zone9 blog member Atinaf Berhane complained of sever torture and interrogation throughout the night. The detainees were able to see their lawyers for the first time on May 14th and May 16th, according the defense lawyer Amha Mekonnen. The next hearing is scheduled for June 14th.