Ethiopia refuses to release Swedes

Ethiopia has rebuffed a request from Sweden that three Swedes detained for several months on suspicion of terrorist acts be freed, insisting that they stand trial, the government said Monday.

A senior ministry official told the Swedish ambassador that the appeal had “the tone of an order” and “is not acceptable.”

“The suspects of terror, whatever their nationality, should be brought to the court of justice,” the ministry said.

Swedish diplomats were not immediately available for comment.

Last week, Sweden demanded the immediate release of the Swedes held for many months by the Ethiopian authorities.

The Ethiopian government announced in early May that it was holding 41 people of 17 nationalities arrested in Somalia on suspicion of “terrorism”.