Ethiopia: CPJ calls for the release of five journalists arrested during state of emergency
The Committee to Protect Journalists on Monday called on Ethiopian authorities to release five journalists detained.
A press release by the organisation revealed that, Security forces on Sunday arrested, Eskinder Nega, Temesghen Desalegn, Zone 9 bloggers Befekadu Hailu and Mahlet Fantahun, and Zelalem Workagegnehu, who were gathered at Temesghen’s house in Addis Ababa as reported by the Swiss-based Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia.
All five have, CPJ research revealed had previously been imprisoned for their journalism practice.
As at the time of writing this report, Ethiopia authorities have not publicly disclosed any charges against the journalists.
According to a report by the state-owned Ethiopian News Agency, under the state of emergency, which Ethiopia declared in February, permission is needed to host large gatherings and authorities can carry out arrests without warrant.
CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal in New York said, “We call on Ethiopian authorities to disclose what crime they accuse these journalists of committing or release them at once.
“Ethiopia must not use the state of emergency as a pretext to muzzle critical journalists, particularly those who already have suffered unimaginably during previous imprisonments”.