17 Muslims imprisoned for plotting to create an Islamic State

The defendants, who all denied the charges, were arrested in 2012 on charges of plotting to stage attacks to create an Islamic state in Ethiopia, which has a sizable Muslim minority

Ethiopian court sentenced 17 Muslim activists on Monday to prison sentences ranging from seven to 22 years on charges they plotted to create an Islamic State

No fewer than 17 Muslim activists have been given lengthy prison sentences by an Ethiopian court ranging from seven to 22 years on charges they plotted to create an Islamic state in the majority Christian country.

A journalist for a Muslim newspaper was also sentenced for conspiring with the activists, the court in Addis Ababa said.

The defendants, who all denied the charges, were arrested in 2012 on charges of plotting to stage attacks to create an Islamic state in Ethiopia, which has a sizable Muslim minority, Christian Today reports.

The sentencing comes as Ethiopia faces increasing scrutiny from human rights groups that have regularly accused it of arresting activists, journalists and bloggers to stamp out dissent. The government dismisses the allegations.

The activists were arrested during protests between 2011 and 2013 by Muslims - a rare event in this tightly-controlled country - who accused the government of interference in their affairs. Officials have denied this.

It was gathered that the the protesters accused the government of trying to impose a little-known Islamic sect called Al-Ahbash on the country's Muslim population as a moderate bulwark against the hardline Islam it believes is being spread by extremist preachers.

Ethiopian Muslim leaders say their community follows traditional Sufi-inspired Islam and not any radical movement.

The court sentenced four of the activists to 22 years in jail, five to 18 years, another five to 15 years and four defendants to seven years behind bars. One in the last group was the journalist working for the Muslim newspaper.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

9 most expensive African countries to rent a one bedroom apartment, based on property price to income ratio

9 most expensive African countries to rent a one bedroom apartment, based on property price to income ratio

Top 10 African countries with the highest corporate tax rates

Top 10 African countries with the highest corporate tax rates

Here are the top 10 cities in Africa where the most rich people live

Here are the top 10 cities in Africa where the most rich people live

The metaverse could contribute $40 billion to sub-Saharan Africa’s economy in its first decade, according to a new report

The metaverse could contribute $40 billion to sub-Saharan Africa’s economy in its first decade, according to a new report

What to do when someone says they want s*x without commitment

What to do when someone says they want s*x without commitment

Beer Barn says deployed policemen couldn’t save David Imoh from mob

Beer Barn says deployed policemen couldn’t save David Imoh from mob

UPDATED: Many feared killed as explosion rocks Kano

UPDATED: Many feared killed as explosion rocks Kano

Sperm colour: Here's why your semen colour changes and what it means

Sperm colour: Here's why your semen colour changes and what it means

Actress Dorcas Shola-Fapson and stylist drag each other over AMVCA dress debts

Actress Dorcas Shola-Fapson and stylist drag each other over AMVCA dress debts