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Ethiopia court drops treason charges against 11 as protestor trial resumes

[JURIST] An Ethiopian court dropped charges Wednesday against 18 people, including five American journalists, as the treason trial for 129 protestors [JURIST report] resumed. The charges against the 18 included treason, attempted genocide, and other crimes in connection with allegations that they attempted to overthrow the government. The five journalists work for the US government-run Voice of America [media website], and were charged in absentia as they were based in Washington.

Charges stand against 111 opposition leaders, aid workers, and journalists. Violent demonstrations [JURIST report] following Ethiopia's May 2005 elections led to mass detentions, and over 8,200 protestors have since been released [JURIST report]. Opponents of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi have accused him of election fraud. AP has more.

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