Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ethiopian Authorities Concoct New Charge against Christian



Holding convert from Islam without formal charges since May, police seek ‘terrorism’ evidence.

Prosecutors and police are trying to concoct a terrorism case against an Ethiopian convert from Islam who has been jailed since May without formal charges, Christian leaders said.

Bashir Musa Ahmed, a 39-year-old Ethiopian national, was arrested on May 23 when police found him in possession of eight Bibles in Jijiga, capital of Ethiopia’s Somali Region Zone Five, a predominantly Muslim area in eastern Ethiopia. Zonal police arrested him after he was accused of providing Muslims with the Somali-language Bibles, sources said, though Ethiopia’s constitution protects such activity.

A state official joined Christian leaders in stating that Islamist interests have kept Ahmed in jail in spite of the state’s failure to find any legitimate charge against him. Initially the Christian was arrested for “malicious” distribution of a version of the Bible that is widely available in Ethiopia and is commonly used by Somali Christians inside and outside of the country.


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