Kality Prison

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Attacks on the Press   |   Ethiopia

Conflating terrorism and journalism in Ethiopia

Exiled Ethiopian journalists perform a traditional coffee ceremony in a shared, cramped apartment in Nairobi. A wave of arrests prompted at least 30 Ethiopian journalists to flee into exile in 2014.  (CPJ/Nicole Schilit)

At the Lideta courthouse in Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa, stands a statue of a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales in her outstretched hand--a universal symbol of justice, here cast in metal of pinkish gold and wearing thick braids in her hair.

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia jails nine journalists, renews press crackdown

Top row, from left: Zelalem, Natnail, Mahlet. Middle row, from left: Atnaf, Abel, Befekadu. Bottom row, from left: Tesfalem, Edom, Asmamaw. (Courtesy Zone 9, Addis Guday, Facebook)

Nairobi, April 28, 2014--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.

"With 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.

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Prison places restrictions on jailed journalist Reeyot Alemu

Reeyot Alemu (IWMF)

Nairobi, September 16, 2013--The decision by authorities at Kality Prison to impose visitor restrictions on imprisoned journalist Reeyot Alemu constitutes harassment and runs counter to the Ethiopian constitution, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

"We call upon the Ethiopian authorities to lift these latest restrictions and allow Reeyot Alemu to receive all visitors," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. "She is a journalist, not a criminal, and should not be behind bars."

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