Dutch-Ethiopian Alemu gets life sentence for Derg war crimes

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AFP/The Hague

THE HAGUE – On Friday, December 15, 63 year-old Dutchman, Eshetu Alemu – a former top Derg aide based in northwest Gojjam province – was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for war crimes he committed during the “Red Terror” regime.

Alemu was accused of four war crimes, including torturing and/or killing over 300 victims during the Marxist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam in the late 1970s.

The defendant and his lawyers were not present in court for the reading of the verdict, and it is unknown if he will appeal at this time. Alemu was previously sentenced to death in absentia by Ethiopian courts in 2007 for his crimes. Mengistu Haile Mariam was also sentenced in absentia in 2007, and currently lives in exile in Zimbabwe.

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