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Ethiopia jails Swedish journalists on terror charges

Two Swedish journalists have been jailed for 11 years in Ethiopia on charges of illegally entering the country and supporting terrorism.

(REUTERS) Addis Ababa - An Ethiopian court sentenced two Swedish journalists on Tuesday to 11 years in prison for helping and promoting the outlawed Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebel group and entering the country illegally.

Last week's guilty verdicts had provoked anger in Swedish media and accusations the case had taken on a political dimension.

Reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson were arrested in July after they entered the Ogaden province from Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region with ONLF fighters.

"The court has sentenced both defendants to 11 years. We have heard both cases ... and we believe this is an appropriate sentence," Judge Shemsu Sirgaga told the court.

Shemsu said the convictions warranted a sentence of up to 14 and a half years, but noted the freelance journalists' good behaviour. The prosecution had asked for 18 and a half years.

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