Bekele Gerba sentenced six months in jail for contempt of court

Bekele Gerba sentenced six months in jail for contempt of court

(Reuters)-An Ethiopian court sentenced Bekele Gerba, a senior opposition leader to six months in jail for contempt of court on Monday because he raised his hand when addressed by the judge rather than standing, his lawyer said.

The court ruling came despite a government push to release politicians jailed after mass protests broke out three years ago in the Oromiya region over accusations of land grabbing.

More than 2,000 political prisoners have been released since January as part of a package of reforms announced to try to calm lingering tensions.

Bekele, secretary general of the opposition group Oromo Federalist Congress, was arrested in December 2015 and charged with involvement in terrorism. The charge was later reduced to inciting violence.

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