ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Defense lawyers have told the Ethiopian High Federal Court that terrorism charges against 29 Muslims are unconstitutional.
Federal prosecutors are accusing the 29, which includes prominent clerics, journalists and activists, with terrorism and attempts to create an Islamic state. Tensions have been rising between the government in this mostly Christian country and Muslim worshippers that have led to anti-government protests.
On Thursday one of the defense lawyers for the 29 said that they expect the court to throw the case out. The court will decide on Nov. 30 if it has jurisdiction over the case and whether the charges, partly based on the country's controversial anti-terrorism law, is constitutional.
Rights groups say the Ethiopian government provoked the protests by trying to impose a specific interpretation of Islam.