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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Opposition Leaders and Activists Denied Bail

IOL -- The Federal High Court in Addis Ababa Thursday refused bail for 20 opposition leaders and three journalists who are under investigation over post-election clashes in the country.

The leaders of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy party (CUDP) and the journalists have been detained for a month.

The court's decision came as the police presented their final report of an investigation into clashes in June and early November which had left 90 people dead.

The government and police have accused the opposition of trying to overthrow the government by inciting public violence over their allegation that Ethiopia's third multi-party parliamentary elections held in Mid-May had been rigged.

However, lawyers for the CUDP leaders who appeared in court for the third time on Thursday said the clashes occurred when the detainees were already in detention.

The CUDP has accused the police of excessive force against the demonstrators in Addis Ababa and other cities during the June and November protests. The government has launched an enquiry into the clashes aimed at investigating the deaths.

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