News update on detention of journalists by security forces

March 12, 2020

Left: members of Tigray Tv crew who were detained and subsequently released by security forces in Afar regional state. Right: ONN logo.

Addis Abeba (Addis Standard) – Desu Dula and Waqo Nole, journalists working for Oromia News Network (ONN) are currently in police custody awaiting trial, VOA Amharic reported.

The networks general manager Sorsa Debella said the two journalists were detained while visiting a prisoner in Burayu town, in Oromia Regional State Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne, some 25 km north of the capital Addis Abeba.

Getachew Balcha, Oromia regional state communication bureau head , on his part admitted that the journalists were detained while they happen to visit a relative but said they were already being sought suspected of criminal offenses. He added that “as far as I know” their detention has nothing to do with their work as journalists. Journalists Desu Waqo have already appeared in a court where the police were granted 14 days to remand and investigate them, the report said.

Similarly, On March 10, Tigray Journalists Association released statement denouncing the arrest of journalists Ashenafi Dargie & Omer Ahmed of Tigrai TV by security forces in Afar regional state while they were on assignment. the two journalists were detained along with Gebre Medhin Kidanemariam & Haftu Tsegaye, cameraman & driver respectively. They were arrested on March 08 were released but their equipment were confiscated.


This is the second time in as many months that journalists working for Tigray TV were targeted by security forces while on assignment. On January 14, two journalists from the station were arrested in Assosa, the capital of Benishangul Gumuz regional state in what Ismael Aspik, the city’s administrator, said were triggered by lack of work letter the journalists failed to produce. They were released two days later.

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