ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
An Ethiopian court on Thursday sentenced Bekele
Gerba, former deputy head of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC),
to six months in jail for contempt of court.
The Ethiopia Federal
High Court jailed Gerba along with three others who were given
similar sentence on the same charge.
Local media Radio
Fana said the defendants were given the sentences after vocally
objecting to the court’s decision to reject a defense request
compelling senior government officials to testify as witnesses.
Gerba has been in
jail for about two years over terrorism charges relating to
allegations of instigating unrest in Ethiopia’s largest regional
OFC is the main
opposition party to the ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s
Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in the restive central
Oromia regional state.
Oromia has seen
large anti-government protests by ethnic Oromos since the end of
2015, leaving hundreds of dead.
A martial law
declared in October 2016 was lifted in August in 2017, but
deadly protests renewed starting October in Oromia. Release of
Oromo opposition leaders, including Gerba, was among demands
posed by the protesters.
largest ethnic group making up a third of the country’s
population of 100 million, have complained of decades of
economic, political and social marginalization by successive