Ethiopia-born UK citizen appears in London court over terrorism charges

A United Kingdom (U.K.) court has charged an Ethiopia-born management lecturer over nine counts of terrorism offences.

Tadesse Kersmo, fled from Ethiopia in 2009 and sought asylum in the U.K. He was later granted British citizenship.

Westminster Magistrates Court judge, Emma Arbuthnot, granted Kersmo a bail of $32,000 along with other release conditions. He is due back in the Central Criminal Court in two weeks, the BBC reports.

He is affiliated with the opposition group, Ginbot 7, which is banned in Ethiopia. Among the accusations he faces are, receiving training in Eritrea and holding terrorism related information like texts on sniper training and guerilla warfare.

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Kersmo who was arrested during his return to the United Kingdom in January told reporters that he was innocent of the charges. The case is the first such in relation to an Ethiopian opposition member outside of the country.

The regime in Addis Ababa has received flak from rights groups that accuse them of stifling dissent and cracking down on political opposition and the media.

The United Nations, the European Union and other European governments have continued to push for political reforms in the country.

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The government also imposed a state of emergency in October last year as part of efforts to quell spreading anti-government protests. Most conditions of the state of emergency have since been relaxed but it was extended for three months after expiry in April this year.

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