Home | News    Sunday 20 November 2016

CPJ accuses Ethiopia of intensifying press crackdown

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia on October 2, 2016 (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri Photo)

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

November 19, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – A press freedom campaigner group has accused Ethiopia of intensifying crackdown on media under the recently imposed state of emergency.

Last month, Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency after a wave of deadly anti-government demonstrations in Oromia and Amhara regions.

The New York based group, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the Horn of Africa’s nation has arrested or sentenced at least three journalists and bloggers under a state of emergency since October.

“In recent weeks, Ethiopian authorities have jailed a newspaper editor, as well as two members of the award-winning Zone 9 bloggers’ collective, which has faced continuous legal harassment on terrorism and incitement charges” CPJ said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

“A fourth journalist has been missing for a week; his family fear he is in state custody” it added.

The rights group urged the Ethiopian government to immediately release all journalists detained.

CPJ said Ethiopia’s Supreme Court on has continued hearing prosecutors’ appeal of a lower court’s on November 15 after acquittal of four bloggers from the Zone 9 collective on terrorism charges.

Getachew Worku, the editor-in-chief of independent weekly Ethio-Mihidar, was sentenced to a year in jail on Tuesday for "defamation and spreading false information"

According to CPJ Getachew ‘s arrest was in connection with an article he published in the newspaper alleging corruption in a monastery .

Abdi Gada, an unemployed television journalist, has not been seen since November 9.

His family and friends however fear that he might be in state custody.

The two arrested bloggers are Befekadu Hailu a co-founder of the Zone-9 collective, and Natnael Feleke, whose Zone 9 group has written about political repression, corruption and social injustice.

Authorities have not yet announced any new charge against befekadu.

The Africa News Agency quoted Befekadu’s friends saying that they believed he may have been arrested following an interview he gave to the U.S.-government-funded broadcaster Voice of America’s Amharic service, in which he criticized the government’s handling of the protests.

Befekadu was freed from jail in October 2015 after 18 months behind bars accused of "inciting violence" with his anti-government writing. He was rearrested last month.

Feleke was also detained for several days in October, before being released with a caution.

According to right groups the Ethiopian government keeps critical journalists under a tight rein and close control.

“Silencing those who criticize the government’s handling of protests will not bring stability," CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal said from New York.

“The constant pressure on Zone 9 bloggers with repeated arrests and court appearances is clearly designed to intimidate the remaining independent journalists in Ethiopia”

Ethiopia ranked fourth on the CPJ’s list of the 10 most censored countries in 2014, and is the third-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, according to the group’s "prison census"

Since last year the east African nation has faced an unprecedented wave of violent protests that claimed the lives of over 500 people.

But the country’s most recent protests were sparked after a religious festival in Oromia region turned into violet anti-government protests claiming lives of 55 in stampede.

After the protests spread to many parts of the country, Ethiopia imposed a six-month state of emergency to contain the protests which were spreading to many parts of the country.

The protests first erupted over demands for land rights however later turned in to calling for increased political and economic rights.

On November 12, Ethiopia’s State of Emergency Inquiry Board - in a televised statement - announced that authorities have arrested 11,607 people after the state emergency decree.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


s
Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Mugabe’s Dictatorial End: A Great Lesson for South Sudan 2017-11-20 08:40:27 by Matai Muon In Africa’s model of democracy, serving longer equates to a higher level of democratic peace and stability. From Sudan to DRC, Equatorial Guinea to Uganda, Rwanda to Zimbabwe, the (...)

South Sudan peace revitalization is priority 2017-11-18 13:06:33 By Clement Maring Samuel The SPLM political detainees (FDS), and SPLM in Government (SPLM-IG) holds to views of achieving peace through the reunification of the SPLM party, and through the (...)

Somaliland: How tribalism endangers an African democracy 2017-11-11 06:21:19 By Abdirahman M Dirye From South Sudan, Somaliland, to Ethiopia, ethnic conflicts brew to tear apart these countries and weaken institutions but this time nepotism and clan-loyalty regenerated (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Reactions to government agencies’ conspiracy against Greater Bor community 2017-10-08 07:54:31 By Manyok Abraham Thuch & Kuch Kuol Deng A monkey business or a donkey business in the government of the republic of South Sudan against the citizens is unacceptable. Therefore, we as youth (...)

Amnesty calls to release Nubian activists detained over protest for cultural rights 2017-09-12 20:47:54 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE 12 September 2017 Egypt: Release 24 Nubian activists detained after protest calling for respect of their cultural rights Egyptian authorities should (...)

New group formed to gather Nuer in United States 2017-08-17 14:15:50 DECLARATION FOR THE FORMATION OF NUD TO BRING TOGETHER ALL NUER IN THE U.S.A Press Statement The Nuer Union For Development (NUD) The United State of America The State of Nebraska August 15, (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.