AllAfrica.com is reporting that two Ethiopian journalists imprisoned under Ethiopia’s anti-terror laws have appealed to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights arguing that their conviction and imprisonment for alleged terrorist activity violates their right to freedom of expression and to a fair trial.
The author writes:
“Veteran journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega and freelance journalist Reeyot Alemu were convicted of terrorist activity for articles criticising the Ethiopian government and accused of using their right to free speech as a cover for terrorist activity.
Mr. Nega and Ms. Alemu are just two of many journalists imprisoned for voicing opposition since the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation was introduced in 2009. In 2011, more journalists went into exile from Ethiopia than from any other country. Those imprisoned face conditions of detention which fail to meet basic human rights standards, including the denial of the right to receive visitors. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Commission, and a number of UN special reporters have all criticized the use of the overly broad and vague provisions of the Anti –Terrorism Proclamation such as ‘encouraging terrorism’ to imprison journalists, opposition party members and other dissenting voices.”
In July 2012, Mr. Nega was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Ms. Alemu was initially sentenced to 14 years in prison, which was reduced to five years upon appeal. Award-winning journalists, Nega and Alemu shared the 2012 Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett Award.
Read more at AllAfrica.com.