Ethiopian government won dismissal of a lawsuit by Kidane, an American citizen of Ethiopian origin who sought to hold Ethiopian government liable for hacking into his laptop and spied on his online communications with malicious software.

On March 14, 2014, a circuit judge at Washington D.C Appellate Court concluded that Kidane who still has family ties in his country of origin couldn’t sue Ethiopian government in the U.S. over ‘a transnational’ wrongdoing.

The judge has dismissed the lawsuit for ‘lack of subject matter jurisdiction’. Originally filed in 2014 with the help of Electronic Frontier Foundation, the case has been long and complicated with a series of arguments have been heard from the plaintiff and the defendant.

Kidane, who came in the 1990s to the United States, has settled in suburban Maryland after he was granted a political asylum. He has relations with people who are involved in Ethiopia’s opposition politics both in the diaspora and in Ethiopia. In his statement, Kidane wrote: “Some of my contacts participate in a movement to protest and raise awareness of the current state of political corruption and human rights abuse occurring in Ethiopia.”

Within Ethiopian politics ‘diaspora politics’ and ‘homeland politics’ are inseparable categories, where legal fights and political claims in diaspora send strong political signals to Ethiopian regime and vice versa

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