Zone 9

16 results arranged by date

Blog   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia's state of emergency cuts lines of communication and puts bloggers at risk of arrest

Police fire tear gas during a festival in Ethiopia's Oromia region. After months of protests, authorities have imposed a state of emergency that includes blocking access to social media. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

On October 4, I heard that my friend Natnael Feleke had not returned home even though it was approaching midnight in Ethiopia. Family and friends were discussing where to search for the blogger, who had only been released 11 months earlier from the notorious Kilinto prison, where he was held for 16 months over his blogging. As Ethiopia responds to months of anti-government protests, the fear of bloggers and social media activists being targeted again seemed real.

Attacks on the Press   |   Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, USA, Ukraine

Heroines for Press Freedom

Late on the evening of September 16, 2000, 31-year-old Ukrainian investigative journalist Georgy Gongadze left a colleague's house in Kiev and headed home to where his wife and young daughters awaited him. He never made it.

Reports   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam

Slideshow: Journalists freed

While just under 200 journalists are behind bars, CPJ witnessed several memorable releases in 2015, including in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and even secretive Eritrea. Some of the journalists had spent years behind bars; they endured isolation and several say they were tortured. This year, CPJ’s advocacy contributed to the release of at least 31 journalists. Some of their stories are shown here.

Blog   |   Internet

Privatizing censorship in fight against extremism is risk to press freedom

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Barack Obama at a summit on countering violent extremism in September. Proposed measures rick curtailing press freedom. (AFP/Jewel Samad)

"We're stepping up our efforts to discredit ISIL's propaganda, especially online," President Barack Obama told delegates at the Leaders' Summit on Countering Violent Extremism last month. The social media counter-offensive comes amid U.N. reports of a 70 percent increase in what it terms "foreign terrorist fighters"--citizens of U.N. member states who have left to join Islamic State and other militant groups.

Statements   |   Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, Zone 9 bloggers acquitted of terrorism charges

Nairobi, October 16, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the acquittal by an Ethiopian court today of four Zone 9 bloggers charged with terrorism. Abel Wabella, Atnaf Berhane, and Natnail Feleke, jailed since April 2014, are scheduled to be released today, while exiled blogger Soleyana S. Gebremichael was acquitted in absentia, news reports said. A fifth Zone 9 blogger, Befekadu Hailu, was acquitted of terrorism charges but is being held on charges of inciting violence, the reports said. His bail hearing is set for Wednesday.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, drawn out Zone 9 trial serves to further punish bloggers

Members of the Zone 9 blogging group. Four of the bloggers are currently on trial in Ethiopia. (Endalkachew H/Michael)

On Friday the Zone 9 bloggers are due to appear in court in Ethiopia for the 39th time since their arrest in April 2014. Endalk Chala, a co-founder of the group which is being honored with an International Press Freedom Award from CPJ this year, provides an overview of the drawn out trial and finds that despite the delays and setbacks, support for the bloggers is unwavering.

Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

Has White House finally got the message about strong encryption? Welcome shift seen in speeches and policy memo

The west wing of the White House in July. The Obama administration is debating whether to support stronger encryption. (Geoffrey King/CPJ)

Yesterday, during a panel on encryption policy hosted by Just Security, an online forum covering national security law and policy, top U.S. intelligence lawyer Robert S. Litt pressed the case for engineering backdoors in encryption without undermining computer security as a whole. As CPJ has documented, leading security and policy experts consider this impossible.

Statements   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia releases imprisoned journalist Reeyot Alemu

New York, July 9, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison today of Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu, a critical columnist who has been jailed since June 2011 on terrorism charges. Reeyot was sentenced in 2012 to 14 years in prison, which was reduced to five years on appeal. Reeyot told CPJ today that she was happy to be free and that her health was "okay," but that she was still taking painkillers. The journalist suffered from breast tumors while in prison.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

With limited independent press, Ethiopians left voting in the dark

A rally for the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front in Addis Ababa. The general election is on May 24 but with a diminished press, many voters struggle to find independent information. (AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

On Sunday Ethiopians go to the polls in the country's fifth general election since the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front came to power more than 20 years ago. Citizens are expected to choose the right party to lead them for the next five years. To do so, they need to have a clear understanding of their country's political, social, and economic situation. They need to know which parties have the candidates and policies best suited to their own hopes and aspirations. But in a country with limited independent media, many Ethiopians struggle to find the information needed to help them make informed decisions.

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