29 Dec 2011

Prison sentence for Swedish pair

9:36 am on 29 December 2011

A court in Ethiopia has sentenced two Swedish journalists to 11 years in prison.

The court ruled that they'd entered the country illegally and were helping an outlawed rebel group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front.

Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were arrested in July after they entered the Ogaden province from the Puntland region of Somalia.

In November, they were acquitted on charges of terrorism. However, they admitted crossing the border without a permit.

State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Frank Belfrage said Sweden would keep up its efforts to free them by contacting Ethiopian ministers and consulting the United States and the European Union.