Soliana Shimeles G/Mariam and 9 others

Soliana Shimelis

Federal High Court

Lideta Criminal Bench

Addis Ababa

Case – Soliana Shimeles G/Mariam and 9 others

  1. Soliana Shimeles G/Mariam (in abstentia)
  2. Befeqadu Hailu Techane
  3. Natnael Feleke Abera
  4. MahletFantahun Tefera
  5. Atnafu Berhane Ayalew
  6. Zelalem Kibret Beza
  7. Abel Wabela Sugebo
  8. Asmamaw H/Giorgis Gizaw
  9. Edom Kassaye Gelan
  10. Tesfalem Weldeyes Arage

First charges against 1st and 2nd defendants

  • The offense of contravening articles 32(1)(a)(b) and 38(1) and (2) of the FDRE Penal Code of 2004 and article 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (652/2009)
  • Participating in the offense as principal offenders and participating fully in the commission and consequences of the offense, planning, preparing, conspiring and inciting an act of terror by organizing clandestinely for an act of terror and protest, to make it convenient for the implementation of terrorism, adopting short and long term plans; since May/June, 2012 until their capture, assigning clandestine roles amongst themselves as the group’s chairperson, external affairs and public relations officers, campaign and research coordinator; accordingly executing tasks; adopting a strategy of organizing other members not yet captured to achieve the group’s cause of removing the Constitution and constitutional order through an act of organized terror and protest; since August/September, 2012 receiving training from leaders of the terrorist group Ginbot 7 on means of leadership and inciting protests outside the detection of security forces and outside of the states’ media outlets and on the making and use of explosive weapons; adopting the organization’s struggle cause as their strategic cause, creating direct and indirect links with the organization and receiving a mission, i.e., adopting as the group’s directives Ginbot 7’s members’ rules, a directive on rules to be followed by Ginbot’s 7’s representatives during communication with others, and an notice of the organization saying ‘I am a member of Ginbot 7’; reporting to ESAT radio and television, the mouthpiece of Ginbot 7, on the different clandestine activities they perform, and through this enabling the group to get support; adopting the political program of the terror organization calling itself the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) as their goal

Second charge – against all defendants

  • The offense of contravening articles 27(1)(a)(b), 32(1)(a)(b), 38(1) and 238(1)(a) of the FDRE Penal Code of 2004
  • Committing the offense as principal offenders, and accepting the consequences of the offense, intending to overthrow a government established constitutionally through protest, disturbance and mutiny, since May/June, 2012 until their capture, organizing themselves clandestinely, dividing and assigning roles amongst themselves, receiving different training, distributing inciting writings, organizing protest groups

Prosecutor’s evidence

Statements obtained from accused while in state custody

  • Statements given to police by the accused while in custody under article 27(2) of the FDRE Criminal Procedure Code – 2nd accused (31 pages), 3rd accused (27 pages), 4th accused (12 pages), 5th accused (16 pages), 6th accused (16 pages), 7th accused (12 pages), 8th accused (13 pages), 9th accused (10 pages), 10th accused (13 pages)


Documents seized from the search of 1st accused:

  • A Ginbot 7 document titled ‘Disturbing what has settled, then adopting a convincing vision of change, creating a sense of urgency’ (7 pages)
  • Ginbot 7’s recruiting criteria (Ethiopian or Ethiopian-born, ready to receive military training, of full mental and physical health); basic information representatives should know; Ginbot 7’s vision, mission and goal; that
  • A directive Ginbot 7 representatives should follow when communicating with others
  • A monthly internal Ginbot 7 members’ newspaper on cell organizing
  • A Ginbot 7 document on the special message of the month on change management (7 pages)
  • A document titled ‘Ginbot 7 pupular force comprehensive struggle’ (18 pages)
  • ‘Training on human rights and digital security’ (9 pages)
  • ‘Nairobi workshop on advocacy campaigns’ (14 pages)

Documents seized from the laptop of 2nd accused:

  • Inciting writings titled ‘Addressed to those longing for change and lovers of country’, ‘What are Tigray and TPLF to each other?’, ‘We will struggle until we get to 80 million’, and ‘What is it to the arrogant if the weak band together?’ (15 pages)
  • Campaign on the killing of under-aged children on the street, ‘If Waol Gonim was in Ethiopia’; ‘let the Egyptian protest come to the country’; a list of individuals on whom court decisions have been passed, with the phrase ‘What is your name? My name is legion’
  • A document saying ‘I am killed on the street, arrested without a crime, flogged without a sin. Demonstrating and being cut down’ (18 pages)
  • A document to be given to civil rights advocates in Amharic and English (12 pages)
  • A document titled ‘There is no government, or whose and what kind of government’ (10 pages)
  • A written proof from Dashen Bank of one organization based abroad sending money to 2nd accused for the purposes of implementing terror (33 pages)

Documents seized from the residence of 2nd accused:

  • A document titled ‘Is there a judge that is not a member of the EPRDF?’
  • Documents titled ‘The role we should play’; ‘Telecom fraud’; ‘Ten things the Ethiopian government attacks freedom of expression with’ (12 pages)
  • Documents containing details on online campaign 2, tasks to precede the campaign, plan for online campaign (3 pages)

Documents seized from the laptop of 3rd accused:

  • Inciting documents titled ‘If Waol Gonim was in Ethiopia, how can the Egyptian protests come to Ethiopia?’; ‘Freedom and bread’; ‘Censorship has costs’ (8 pages)
  • From 3rd accused’s email – documents titled ‘Voice of Ginbot 7’ (4 pages); ‘The troublesome Meles Zenawi, created for trouble, Meles wouldn’t care one bit if the people of Ethiopia die of famine, if people die of poverty or suffer from the rising the cost of living’; an email received from 1st accused on bodily danger, secured living (26 pages)
  • Proof sent by Construction and Business Bank of monies 3rd accused received from abroad at different time (11 pages)
  • A hand written document seized from the residence of 3rd accused saying ‘No one can rival you my country Ethiopia, you have soldiers that cannot think’  (1 page)

Documents seized for the computer of 4th accused:

  • Writings that attack the personal dignity of government officials, incite/call for protests, encourage terrorism, darken the political system, deny the economic growth, and undermine the Constitution (2 pages)
  • A CD on the program of the OLF (22 pages)

5th accused

  • Document titled ‘Freedom in Ethiopia’ sent by the National Intelligence and Security Service to Federal Police Crime Investigation Directorate, Terrorism Investigation Division (34 pages)
  • Training received abroad by 5th accused on measures to be taken to reduce risks in information credibility and use of intelligence (information)
  • A hand written document on/mentioning personal and professional security, kinds of danger, first aid, worsening protest, inflaming public emotion, accumulating security service methods, dispersing, arrest, seizing journalists’ equipments, weapons of protest, police rods, tear gas, ground pepper, plastic bullets, direct war, and cars (translations included, 61 pages)
  • Documents found on a flash disk of 5th accused on ‘security risks you may encounter while performing your work’; ‘Suggested measures to mitigate security risks’; ‘transportation services’; ‘intelligence information’; ‘addresses to contact during emergency’ (translations included (28 pages)
  • Document on a documentary film produced by the group on freedom and life in rural Ethiopia found on an external hard disk (7 pages)
  • A website for the coming national Ethiopian election 2007 found on an external hard disk ( (translations included, 8 pages)
  • A document written in Amharic and English on continuing issues from dangers to social media for election 2007 (9 pages)
  • Civil Rights Defenders’ training on how to conduct clandestine communications outside of the service of Ethio Telecom, preventing unauthorized access to the messages, changing password and communicating with persons domestically and abroad (129 pages)
  •  A letter found in his flash disk inviting him attend a training on internet security and plane tickets which he used to travel for the training (translations included, 18 pages)

Documents found in an external hard disk belonging to 6th accused:

  • ‘How can a dictatorial system be more conducive to bring about prosperity?’; ‘Living in slavery or dying in freedom’
  • ‘If Waol Gonim was in Ethiopia, how the Egyptian Arab Spring could come to Ethiopia?’; ‘Freedom and bread’; ‘Censorship has costs’
  • ‘From let our voices be heard to our voice has been taken from us to let our voices be heard’
  • Document in Amharic and English on a documentary film project on inciting by going to rural Ethiopia, and a copy of the accused’s passport
  • ‘Meles’s legacy and vision’ (4 pages); ‘Sector condescension; ‘Dead parliament election drama’ (22 pages)

7th accused:

  • From his flash disk, a document prepared in English on the plans for and invitations to a project on civil and human rights advocates, training on cyber security (18 pages)
  • From a search of his residence, a document containing the structure of the group as and the roles and responsibilities of the chairperson, public relations and external affairs officer and editor in chief (26 pages)
  • A website on the upcoming 2015 Ethiopian national election ( (translations included, 8 pages)

8th accused

  • From search of the accused, a document that says ‘Muslims must participate in politics, peace and justice above food’ (6 pages)
  • A report sent by the National Intelligence and Security Service to the Federal Police Crime Investigation Counter-Terrorism Division on the activities of all of the accused and their communication (31 pages)
  • A report sent by the National Intelligence and Security Service to the Federal Police Crime Investigation Counter-Terrorism Division (56 pages)
  • A document saying ‘Digital surveillance and security of journalists’; ‘Things the government attacks freedom of expression on’; ‘Is there a judge that is not a member of the EPRDF?’ (13 pages)
  • Report written by Dashen Bank about 2nd accused
  • Proof of hand writing on 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th accused sent by Federal Police Forensic Directorate (3 pages)
  • Photocopies of 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th accused (6 pages)


  • A Toshiba laptop computer and charger seized from 2nd accused
  • A Samsung mobile phone and two simcards seized from 7th accused
  • An ASUS laptop computer and chargers seized from 3rd accused
  • A Techno mobile phone, 2 simcards and a foreign simcard seized from 3rd accused
  • A Samsung mobile phone seized from 4th accused
  • A flash disk, a touch screen mobile phone with battery, a book titled ‘Security inbox’ (140 pages) and a CD containing a document titled ‘Security inbox’ seized from 5th accused
  • A Toshiba laptop computer, an external hard disk and a Nokia mobile phone seized from 6th accused
  • A Sandisk flash disk, a Samsung mobile phone with 2 simcards and a Samsung battery
  • A Dell laptopt computer, a charger, a Samsung mobile phone and a Nokia mobile phone with a simcard seized from 8th accused
  • An Apple laptop computer, a charger, a Huawei mobile phone, 3 foreign simcards and 2 Ethiopian simcards seized from 9th accused
  • A Nokia mobile phone seized from 10th accused
  • 12 CDs containing audio and video used by the group to advance their cause


  • In accordance with Witness Protection Proclamation 699/2003 and article 32 of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (652/2009), the identity of the prosecutor’s witnesses not revealed in the copy of the charge given to the accused

Please click here to download the full charge in Amharic.


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