Award-winning journalists Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu were imprisoned under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation for writing articles critiquing the government.  (Photo Credit: Google Images)
Award-winning journalists Eskinder Nega (l) and Reeyot Alemu (r) were imprisoned under Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation for writing articles critiquing the government.
(Photo Credit: Google Images) 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.


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  1. […] The case of jailed Ethiopian journalists has been widely covered, but the incidences of jailed journalists in Africa has been largely under reported by the international media. Can you imagine the editor-in-chief of The Washington Post being detained and placed under house arrest for writing an article critical of US President Obama? How about the offices of The Guardian being shut down for critiquing Parliament? Imagine those things happening and few outlets reporting about it. In 2007, Chauncey Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post and a former reporter for the Oakland Tribune, was shot to death today on a downtown Oakland street after exposing a religious group engaged in criminal activity in the United States and that story was not widely reported. Why is it that the oppression, detainment and terrorism of journalists of color is not addressed more vigorously in major media outlets? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. […]

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