Three teenage Christian girls yesterday (15 Nov.) appeared in court in Babile, some 550km east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, charged with inciting religious violence.
The girls, whose names were given as Eden, 15, Gifti, 14, and Mihiret, 14 – together with an older girl, named Deborah – were arrested in the mainly Muslim region, following the distribution of a Christian book apparently seeking to counter widely-circulated polemics by a well-known Islamic critic.
In a brief hearing, the judge sentenced all four to one month in prison after asking the prosecutor to present evidence. World Watch Monitor (WWM) learnt that the girls will be transferred to a larger prison in a town called Gelemiso to serve the sentence among common criminals, even though three of them are below the age of 18.
The judge allowed for an appeal but it can only take place after their transfer.