Alerts   |   Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, Swedish journalists handed prison terms

An Ethiopian court has sentenced Swedish journalists Johan Persson (left) and Martin Schibbye to 11 years in prison. (AFP)

New York, December 27, 2011--In a highly politicized trial, two Swedish journalists have been sentenced in an Ethiopian court to 11-year jail terms after being convicted of supporting terrorism and entering the country illegally, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Ethiopia, Sweden

CPJ condemns trial of Swedish journalists in Ethiopia

Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson could be sentenced to up to 18 years. (Reuters)

New York, December 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an Ethiopian court's decision to convict two Swedish photojournalists today in what appears to be a politicized trial.

Statements   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia must free convicted Swedish journalists

December 21, 2011--Today's conviction of two Swedish journalists by an Ethiopian court is emblematic of Ethiopia's increasing use of antiterrorism laws to persecute independent media, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

December 21, 2011 8:54 AM ET


Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Dawit Kebede joins Ethiopia's exiled journalists

Kebede, left, is presented with a 2010 CPJ award by Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson. (Afrikanspot)

New York, November 21, 2011--Dawit Kebede, managing editor of Awramba Times, one of Ethiopia's two remaining independent Amharic-language newspapers offering critical analysis of local politics, announced today that he was forced to leave the country after he received a tip last week about alleged government plans to re-imprison him. Kebede also said that the paper was unlikely to continue publishing.

Kebede, whom CPJ honored a year ago for perseverance in pursuing independent journalism in Ethiopia despite ongoing government intimidation, told CPJ from Washington, D.C., that official sources warned him on Thursday of preparations by the Ministry of Justice and Government Communication Affairs to revoke the conditional pardon that authorities offered in 2007 to him and other imprisoned journalists rounded up in a brutal November 2005 crackdown.

November 21, 2011 2:16 PM ET


Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia charges six journalists with terrorism

From left: Nega, Gellaw, Negash, Teklemariam, Yenealem, and Belew. (CPJ)

New York, November 11, 2011--A judge in Ethiopia's federal high court charged six journalists with terrorism on Thursday under the country's antiterrorism law, bringing the number of journalists charged under the statute since June to 10, CPJ research found. 

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia steps up terrorism allegations against journalists

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles
Zenawi speaks to Parliament Thursday. (CPJ)

New York, October 24, 2011--Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi last week accused journalists in the country of being "messengers" with "terrorist" groups, while a state newspaper accused the chief editor of an independent publication of having terrorist ties and called on security forces to "take action" against him. The Committee to Protect Journalists today said it condemns this campaign of intimidation against the private press.

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Zenawi calls jailed Swedish journalists terror accomplices

Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (Reuters)

New York, October 11, 2011--Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's public accusations on Monday against two imprisoned Swedish journalists compromise the presumption of their innocence and predetermine the outcome of their case, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalists were arrested in Ethiopia in July and charged with terrorism for associating with armed separatists.

In July, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, contributors to the Sweden-based photo agency Kontinent, were arrested after they crossed with rebels of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) into Ogaden, an oil-rich province where the media is barred independent access. Earlier this year, the Ethiopian government formally designated the ONLF a terrorist group under an anti-terrorism law. Under this 2009 law, journalists risk up to 20 years in prison if the government deems their reporting favorable to groups designated as terrorists. Both journalists were charged without their lawyers present, CPJ research shows.

October 11, 2011 5:24 PM ET


Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Two Ethiopian journalists detained on terrorism charges

New York, September 16, 2011--Authorities in Ethiopia arrested two independent journalists this week on accusations of involvement in a terrorism plot, bringing the total number of journalists imprisoned since June under the country's far-reaching antiterrorism legislation to six, CPJ research shows.

September 16, 2011 5:04 PM ET


Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopian journalist ID'd in WikiLeaks cable flees country

Addis Neger's newsroom in 2009, before the editors fled and the paper folded. (Addis Neger)

New York, September 14, 2011--U.S. diplomatic cables disclosed last month by WikiLeaks cited an Ethiopian journalist by name and referred to his unnamed government source, forcing the journalist to flee the country after police interrogated him over the source's identity, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. It is the first instance CPJ has confirmed in which a citation in one of the cables has caused direct repercussions for a journalist.

September 14, 2011 5:01 PM ET


Alerts   |   Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, terrorism charges against five journalists

From left, Reeyot, Woubshet, Persson, and Schibbye. (Feteh, Awramba Times, Kontinent)

New York, September 7, 2011--Ethiopia filed terrorism charges on Tuesday against four independent journalists detained in the country since June and July, along with the editor of a U.S.-based news forum critical of the Addis Ababa government, according to local sources and news reports.


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