Ethiopia: New journalist arrests put press freedom gains at risk

(Amnesty International) — The Ethiopian government risks rolling back the great progress it made on media freedom last year, said Amnesty International, after the government announced plans to charge journalists and media outlets for their reporting on the armed forces.

Since taking office in April 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has overturned the repressive civil society law and released dozens of detained journalists and bloggers. By the end of 2018, not a single journalist remained behind bars, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, and, in 2019, Ethiopia leapt 40 places up the World Press Freedom Index.

However, following a wave of arrests of journalists in the past weeks, the Ministry of Defence on 8 July announced plans to charge journalists and media houses for “publishing defamatory information about the Ethiopia National Defence Forces”.

This new round of arrests is a hugely regressive move that risks rolling back the progress witnessed in 2018. All journalists arrested must be immediately released and all charges against them unconditionally dropped.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“After making great strides on press freedom, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government received glowing tributes, and the honour of hosting this year’s World Press Freedom Day event,” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes said.

“This new round of arrests is a hugely regressive move that risks rolling back the progress witnessed in 2018. All journalists arrested must be immediately released and all charges against them unconditionally dropped.”

Berihun Adane, Editor-in-Chief of the privately-owned Asrat TV and the weekly Berera newspaper, was arrested on 26 June, while Elias Gebru, editor of the Enqu magazine, defunct since 2014, was arrested on 6 July.

Both journalists have since been charged under the Anti- Terrorism Proclamation (2009), which was used by previous governments to bring trumped-up charges against its critics.

The latest round of arrests in the wake of the 22 June assassination of the army chief of staff and other high-ranking government officers, has also targeted activists and members of the opposition National Movement of the Amhara.

Similar Articles

Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

OMN: ODUU GALGALAA (GURRAANDHALA 20, 2020)

OMN: ODUU GALGALAA (GURRAANDHALA 20, 2020)

Ethnic cleansing continued in Oromia Regional State by Abiy Ahmed

Ethnic cleansing continued in Oromia Regional State by Ethiopian government lead by Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia July 10, 2020 The Right Honourable Justin...

New Book: የተጠለፈ ትግል (The hijacked revolution) in pdf

Book: የተጠለፈ ትግል (The hijacked revolution) in PDF Via Aba Orma, September 3, 2019 የተጠለፈ ትግል (The hijacked revolution) Author: Mudhin Siraj Pages: 152 Language: Amharic Year: July 2019 To...

21 million Chinese died of coronavirus – US intelligence officials intercept data

21 million Chinese died of coronavirus – US intelligence officials intercept data By James Alami (Web Archive) -- A new data intercepted by the United States...

BBC Afaan Oromoo: ODUU Owwituu, Amajjii 27, 2020

BBC Afaan Oromoo: ODUU Owwituu, Amajjii 27, 2020