Arab Today, arab today ethiopia jails 9 journalists renews press crackdown
Last Updated : GMT 02:32:26
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Ethiopia jails 9 journalists, renews press crackdown

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Ethiopia jails 9 journalists, renews press crackdown

Nairobi - Arab Today

The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the Ethiopian government's arrests of nine journalists in one of the worst crackdowns against free expression in the country. "Wit the latest arrests, Ethiopian authorities are turning the peaceful exercise of free expression into a crime," said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. On Sunday, a public prosecutor in the capital, Addis Ababa, accused the detainees--editor Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, freelancers Tesfalem Waldyes and Edom Kassaye, and bloggers Abel Wabella, Atnaf Berhane, Mahlet Fantahun, Natnail Feleke, Zelalem Kibret, and Befekadu Hailu--of working with foreign human rights organizations and using social media to create instability in the country, according to news reports and local journalists. Tesfalem, Asmamaw, and Zelalem will have their next court hearing on May 7, while the rest will appear in court on May 8, the same sources said. The journalists have not been formally charged with a crime. The bloggers are members of an independent collective called Zone 9, which publishes news and commentary, according to news reports. Formed in May 2012 in response to the evisceration of the independent press and the narrowing of the space for free expression, the group's name is derived from Kality Prison, the main jail where Ethiopia's political prisoners, including several journalists, are held, reports said. With the motto "We Blog Because We Care," the group has voiced concerns over domestic issues, including political repression and social injustice. The Zone 9 blogs were frequently blocked inside Ethiopia, but gained a following with Ethiopians in the diaspora, according to local reports. The arrests follow an April 23 announcement on Facebook by the bloggers in which they said they would resume publishing after seven months of inactivity. They had suspended publishing after being harassed by security agents, according to the blog. The day before their arrest, security agents allegedly ordered Natnail to hand over contact details of all Zone 9 members, a request he refused, local journalists told CPJ. Local journalists said the other detainees--Asmamaw, a senior editor of the private Amharic weekly news magazine Addis Guday, and freelancers Tesfalem and Edom--may have been arrested on suspicion of being affiliated with the Zone 9 journalists.  Edom had been approached on several occasions and asked about her relationship to the other Zone 9 journalists and the support they received from outside organizations, the same sources said. "These are not journalists. Their arrest has nothing to do with journalism, but with serious criminal activities," Getachew Reda, an adviser to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, told Reuters. "We don't crack down on journalism or freedom of speech. But if someone tries to use his or her profession to engage in criminal activities, then there is a distinction there." "We call on Ethiopian authorities to halt their slide into paranoia and authoritarianism, and instead to allow critical commentary and public debate to thrive," said CPJ's Rhodes. "These nine journalists should be released immediately." Ethiopian government spokesman Shimeles Kemal did not immediately return CPJ's repeated calls for comment. The journalists, who were arrested in multiple raids on Friday and Saturday, have been denied access to their family and lawyers and are being held at the Maekelawi federal detention center, according to local journalists. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, interrogators at Maekelawi routinely use torture to extract false confessions from detainees. The Ethiopian government denies the allegations.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today ethiopia jails 9 journalists renews press crackdown Arab Today, arab today ethiopia jails 9 journalists renews press crackdown

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today 17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016

GMT 00:47 2017 Monday ,27 February

17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars
View News in Arabic - Media: صحافة
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 01:04 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Nokia 3310 is back — and so is 'Snake'

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday