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Home » News » Ethiopian editor arrested for publishing an opinion piece; denied bail

Elias Gebru
(Last updated at 02:24 GMT)
Awramba Times (Addis Ababa) – Elias Gebru, editor-in-chief of Ethiopia’s leading independent magazine, Enqu was arrested on Monday for publishing an opinion piece on the controversial Aanolee Martyrs memorial monument, which was erected in Arsi, Hetosa as a tribute to the Arsi Oromos who were victims of the Emperor Menelik’s imperial expansion, in the 19th century.

Ethiopia’s press law prohibits pre-trial detention, however during the court appearance at Arada first instant court on Tuesday, Police asked the judje more additional days to carry out investigations against editor Elias and the court accorded the police seven days for further investigation.

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28 Responses to “Ethiopian editor arrested for publishing an opinion piece; denied bail”

  1. whatever!

  2. gebre May 27, 2014

    በኦሮሞዎች እየተመካኘ እነ ገብሩ ገብረማርያም ናቸው ለካ ሀውልቱን የሚያሰሩት። አሁን ከሀውልቱ መሰራት ጋር የማን ፍላጎት እንዳለበት እየተረጋገጠ ነው።
    ይሄ ጎበዝ ጋዜጠኛ በአርባምንጭ አካባቢ የተደረሰውን የሰዎች መበደል የዘገበ ጎበዝ ጋዜጠኛ ነው። እሱን ማሰር ደግሞ የሚገርም ነገር ነው።
    አርባ ምንጭ ያሉትም ለምን እንደሚበደሉም አሁን ግልፅ እየሆነ ነው።

  3. freedom May 27, 2014

    He is not Ethiopian. He looks like Yemeni. He must be spy.

    • He must be harari or wollo oromo…they look just like this

  4. ethiio May 27, 2014

    PM Hailemariam just told us on May 26th, 2014 saying “…Democracy becoming a culture in Ethiopia…” at the same time they are arresting journalist because of a personal opinion. so what is he talking about???? is he telling us…yes..you can say anything you want BUT you will end up in jail kind of democracy? everything you do beside supporting woyane is a crime…I don’t get it at all.

  5. billfree May 27, 2014

    This is Jock . Because there are many journalists that writes a critical articles which opposes this thing.

  6. Alula May 27, 2014

    Ethiopia doesn’t need these kind of journalist who just write for the sake of writing! Ethiopia meeds one who can create jobs & participate in the fight against poverty!
    The journalists we have are ; journalists with no journalistic ethics!
    Stop being a copy cat! Match your profession , if you gays have one, with the sociopolitical economy stage of Ethiopia! We are in a stage about one hundred some years behind the west!Therefore, relax & follow the stage of Ethiopia’s consciousness!

  7. geremew May 28, 2014

    some Ethiopian journalists like Elias gebru. they are not real journalist , they are narrow minded pro distraction activist.
    they don’t care about the country interest. he deserve to be in prison. for what he did. Ethiopia need pro development journalist . not haters. let stay positive people !!!!!!!!

  8. 1) Does the piece designate itself as an editorial or an op-Ed highlighting the difference between a jouranalism piece and a personal opinion?
    2) if the perpouse of media is to inform, why is a personal opinion preferred rather than an interview with a Sorbonne Historian’s, well researched and statistically backed book that got published two months ago?
    3) Everone has an opinion. Any false and agitative opinion can get financial backing in Ethiopia. Easy!! There are big pockets everywhere. In a total ban of all other nation and nationalities private media, and wide opening to the amharist cesspool, who is to put a leash on this ideological mental illness adicted to hearing itself only?
    4) when has the amharist cesspool in the west has ever been open to anyone else? They totally distorted the sound quality of amsingle
    Interview they had with Dr merRa. They even tag-teamed their own leaders book review when he was trying to induce some rationality.
    Amharist print media should have a quota of balancing views from nations and nationalities or should have a tax rate commensurate that damage that it causes to the collective psychy due to imbalance. Some of the pieces are equivalent to a propogamda and agitation towards justification of a civil war and should be taxed proportional to the damage mittigTion that the Ethiopian people have to take. KEEP in MIND, this subtle agitation that had us at war with Eritrea for 30
    years, had us loose a port and aggressively agitated and blackmailed melles towards a hard position along blaming meles (TPLF) for “making Ethiopia land locked”! If this is mental illness, I don’t know what is! We should call it out for whAt it is and tax it accordingly!

  9. I suppose we have seen the consequence of irresponsible journalism.
    I understand one of the grievances by the Ambo students was the ‘opinion piece’ in question.
    Know I acknowledge in the perfect world he should have a right to publish those things but when they have this kind of consequence should exercise some professional judgement and be considerate for the public peace.

  10. Gebez May 28, 2014

    It does not bother me when a journalist gets arrested. All in my mind is the poor,ordinary citizen proletariat. Journalist want to be treated as a specially privileged class of a society. Hell NO!!!Fire and Ax to all traitors!!

  11. Is the journalist was thrown to prison because he wrote something nice about Menilik? If the report is true it is frightening. Now are the OPDO politicians are on a move to lock up anyone who do not buy to their hearsay? I know from the outset OPDO is the weakest link in EPDRF. The late prime minster is indeed correct when he said when OPDO is erased it reads OLF. Perhaps this the only statement I know he made which I agree with. In trying to appease OPDO,however, the other three ethnic groups of EPDRF will undoubtedly harvest the ire of many Ethiopians. I do not think, if given the chance to speak freely, most Ethiopians agree with OPDO. I believe they agree with the journalist. BUT EPDRF chose to appease OPDO. How an unfortunate political calculation that is!

    • Well, dont forget that a significan majority Think that ANDM was part and parcel of the nefexenia EPRP and thus can’t escape its socialization even if it tries to do so. We know that cells of nefxenists operate openely within ANDM. Did you know that EPRP celebrated the beating of Oromo students in Gonder with a ” Wugerew”?
      I wonder what ANDM would do if the table was flipped? That the statue of Grange Mohamed was in addis ababa than the statue of menilik? That “free”‘media is financed from outside and fronts a nice opiniOn piece about Grange Mohamed’s expedition into Gonder? That is the direction this foreign finaced media is taking the country towards backed by EPRP and nefxenias cells in ANDM. Should the people of the regions balance the nefexenia onslaught through their own private media? Going forward, should they create political parties that adhere to the philosophy of Mohamed grange’s “holywar” become openly registered and either win by election but most probably opt for a color revolution out of a city that has been allowed to be brainwashed by the Grange Mohamed rhetoric? Well that is where nefxenia socialized ANDM, bereket simon along with professor mesfin have taken this country by secretly allowing nefexenia propoganda to proliferate unabated for years. Lo and behold, it is professor mesfin who even refused participating in MEDREK now complaining about the palpable resentment that exists in the country coming from Menelik hollywar camp the minute that others have been able to brodcast into the regions. Well, Natures desire for balance will manifest in a lot more regions combining their efforts to mitigate the subtle hate propoganda that is coming from what is increasingly lookIng like an empire with resource going from south to north while propaganda is migrating down south.

  12. Gashaw May 28, 2014

    It was not if, it was only when this guy will face the justice system. I never liked this very dangerous/Meseri sew. yeEthiopian meteremames let-teqen yemimegn gle-seb. Hope justice will be served and this Anarchist will spend some good time in jail, where he belongs.

  13. kebrom May 28, 2014

    At Alula
    at which school you have got this new knowledge?—i mean (ethiopia need a journalist able to create job—)kikikiki

    Ye abyen wede emiye alu!
    By the way which job are you talking about? cobblestone for graduate?! How do you ask a journalist to create job when your government who own everything of the country including us is even unable to create cobblestone job for all of all?!

    Who do you think made Ethiopia lag that behind? is it not dergu and his precedents, but basically woyane? you means that we are not yet politically and economically conscious?! Is it becuase we just sat aside and watch when you take everything of us, divide us, kill us, slave us, eat us, and finally boost yourself and your families? are you considering us as backward becuase we didnot reacted to the evils you and your government is doping to us and our country?

    wait the day is too close! That day i am sure you are not going to say what you said now! Chekagn banda!

  14. happy May 28, 2014

    Press Statement
    John Kerry
    Secretary of State
    Washington, DC

    May 27, 2014
    Share on facebookShare on twitter

    On behalf of the government and the people of the United States, I send my best wishes to the government and people of Ethiopia as you celebrate your national day on May 28.

    It was a great pleasure to return to Addis Ababa earlier this month and see first-hand examples of the longstanding partnership between the United States and Ethiopia.

    During a visit to Gandhi Memorial Hospital and a conversation with the doctors, nurses and patients there, I was moved and proud to see results of our joint efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.

    I was also delighted to celebrate the impressive contributions to society of Ethiopian youth and look forward to welcoming several to the United States to participate in the Young African Leaders Initiative Summit.

    These are just two examples of our support of Ethiopia’s peaceful and prosperous future. The United States is committed to promoting Ethiopia’s economic growth and development, democratic governance and respect for human rights, and peace and security in the region.

    As you gather with family and friends on your national day, the government and people of the United States wish you a most festive celebration.

  15. seyoum777 May 28, 2014

    Awaramba Times, what are you talking about? Is the said Magazin really “independent?” I just don’t think so. Almost all articles in the said Megazin are against the current Ethiopian Government. The so called Journalist failed to see the positive developments in the country.

  16. ተከዜ May 29, 2014

    ስለ አቶ ኤሊያሰ ገብሩ የተፃፈውን ለማወቅ እዚህ ላይ ይጫኑ፣

  17. Menelik May 29, 2014

    I wish this regime just vanish. I m tired of their brutality and mischievness.

  18. In Ethiopia history for first time a prime minster of Ethiopia sentenced to death.

    Mr Melese zenawi for the crime against humanity including 70,000 Ethiopia lost their life in 1998 war no question about that.

    Let other think twice.
    He did not died in any thing.

    He faced death penalty.

  19. 1)If a doctor at Black Lion treats a patient using someone elses opinion rather than proven Medical Preactices, and EPRDF locks him up…none of us will mind nor we will hear about it!
    2) If an Engineer at GRED uses someone elses opinion rather than proven Engineering Practices,, and EPRDF locks him up…none of us will mind nor we will hear about it!
    3)If a military personnel uses someone elses opinion rather than proven Military Practices, and the army court-marshals him…none of us will mind nor we will hear about it!

    Literally all professional practices have a certain set of standards and malpractice can end anyone to penalties including imprisonment and this is for laziness or violation of standards. Why is journalism an exception to this in liue of specific articulation in the constitution limiting freedom of speech and a specific law that details what is and what is not acceptable to the practice of journalism? I think journalists, due to their proximity to the media, ENJOY the notoriety and the “attaboy” that comes from overly-socialized neo-liberal left, who cares less, nor for that matter knows anything of substance but grovel around inconsiquential chutzpah to give validity to itself. Why is CPJ more important than any other professional society? What gives them the right to justfy opinion based malpractice than…say a society of Doctors or Engineers charged in malpractice case of a specific countries penal-code? Would the US based Medical Assosiation dare to speak-up against a medical doctors case in Ethiopia? I wonder about the, crossboarder self aggrandizement of societies such as
    CPJ to judge across jurisdictions.

    • Semenawi May 31, 2014

      Tn. I agree with you. I am an avid reader of anything written on all Horn of Africa countries. Many bloggers or writers could not separate their emotions from their work. They mostly dwell on contentious issues, drag themselves into polemics and by doing so become “sub standard” reporters or journalists and become easy prey for criminal prosecution. They use divisive and inflammatory language and incriminate themselves. Well as the old book says, “one reaps what he saw”. So, journalists, like ordinary citizens, should account for their misdeeds in a court of law. This does not, however, mean that governments could not be intolerant to criticisms from the opposition. But I tell you my friend, if some one has to condemn the acts of injustices perpetrated by governments, he/she should also equally condemn of the potential harm made to the psche of society (especially gullible readers) by irresponsible journalists. One last thought, would people be surprized if Professor Alemayehu Hailemariam, would be charged with some sort of crime and be locked up in prison if he sets foot in Ethiopia? Just read what this guy writes and tell me if he is a real “professor”. I would not sent my kid to his class. He is too visceral. Everybody should answer for his action. The Law is above all. Journalists are not exempt from legal persecution when they screw up.

  20. Mahmoud May 30, 2014

    የትምከህተኞች አንዱ መለያ ከማናቸውም ነገር በፊት የራሳቸውን ጥቅም አንደማያስቀደሙና አገር ጥሎ ለመፈርጠጥ ቀዳሚ እንዳልሆኑ ሁሉ ደርሰው የአገር ተቆርቃዋሪ ለመምሰል ብዙ ያወራሉ፣ እንደሚታየውም ባንዲራ ያገር መኩርያና መለያ ሳይሆን በተግባር ገበናቸው መሸፈኛና ከኔ በላይ ላሳር አይነት መልእክት የሚያስተላሉፉበትና የሚነግዱበት ጨርቅ ሆኗል።

  21. በለው ! May 30, 2014

    >>>ኢህአዴግ የገጠመውን የኪራይ ሰብሳቢ፣የሙሰኛ፣ጥቅማጥቅመኖች የእኔ የእኔ ብቻ አትድረስብኝ ያንተን እንካፈል… ቁርሾ አመፅን ቀስቅሶ ንብረት ሲያወድም፣ ባንክ ሲያዘርፍ፣ ግለሰቦች የለፉበት ንብረት በእሳት ሲቃጠል…ሞኝ ያገኘው ፈሊጥ! “የዩኒቨርስቲ ተማሪዎች ተደበደቡ፣ አበዱ፣ ፈነዱ፣ አለቁ” እያሉ ቁስለኛና እሬሳ በመቁጠር የግል የፓለቲካ ፍጆታቸውን በድሃ ልጅ ደም ሲያባዙ ሲያካፍሉ የከረሙት የኢህአዴግ ደጋፊና-ተደጋፊ.. ተቃዋሚና- ተቋቋሚ አንዲሁም መሐል ሰፋሪው እነ ጭር ሲል አንወድም አጋር ፓርቲዎችን ጨምሮ ከቀበሌ-እስከክልል ከገጠር እስከ አህጉር ሲቀውቱት ሰነበቱ።

    **ህወአት/ኢህአዴግ ምኑ ሞኝ ነው የተካናበትን ዘዴ…ለተጎጂው ኦሮሞ ጭዳ ማቅረብ ስላለበት “አቶ ኤሊያስ ገብሩን ወደ መሰዊያው አቀረበ” የኦሮሞ የዩኒቨርስቲ ተማሪ ሕገመንግስቱን ጥሶ ሳያስፈቅድ ንብረትና ሰው እያጠፋ ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ እያለ ሲቀውጠው አልተጠየቀም ጭራሽም ህገመንግስታዊና ተገቢ ጥያቄ ተባለ።(ለመሆኑ በጋራ ማስተዳዳርና የከተማ ልማት የሚከለክል ህገመንግስት አለ? ለመሆኑ ሕዝቤ መንገድ ጤና ጣቢያ መጓጓዣ የጥቃቅን አንዱስትሪ ባላቤትና ተጠቃሚ አይሁን ‘ገበሬና ሁለት በሬ’ ብቻ የሚል ዜጋ የየት ሀገር ሰው ነው? ለመሆኑ ይህ ሁሉ ወጣት ተምሮ ት ሉሄድ ነው ምን ሰርቶ ቤተሰብ ሊመሰርት ነው!?ድሃው ገበሬ አይለፍለት ቋንቋውና ዘለዓላም የኖረበት የኩበት ጭስ..የአልቅት ውሃ..የድንጋይ መደብ ለወገቡ ፈረደበት ማነው? በእርግጥ የእነንህ የመካካለኛና ከፍተኛ ትምህርት ተቋማት የትምህርት ሥርዓት ብቃትና ጥራቱ አይንና ጆሮ አዕምሮ ባለው ሰው ይመራል ወይንስ ያው ልማታዊ ካድሬ መፈልፈያ ሆኗል የሚባለው እውነት ነው። እኛ ከውስጥ እናንተ ከውጭ ድረሱ ተብሎ በቅንጅት የተሰራውን አመፅና ሽብር ያልታወቁ ግለሰቦች ተቀላቀሉበት ይላሉ።ያልታወቀ ግለሰብ እንዴት በከተማውና በሀገሩ ኖረ? መሳሪያ ከየት አመጣ? ምን አልባት የክልሉ ፖሊስ ደህንነት አቀብሎ ይሆን? ቀድሞም “ክርስቲያን ቀና ብሎ ካየን አንገቱን በሜንጫ እንለዋለን ሲሉ ከፓለቲካ ተንታኝነት ወደ ፖለቲካ በታኝነት የመከላከያውንና ፖለቲካል ኢኮኖሚውን በአመፅ እንነጥቃለን የሚሉትን በኢህአዴግ በውስጥ ክንፍ አድርጎ በጂነዲን ሳዶ ሚስጥር አቀባይነት ለተቀነባባረው ሴራ ወይንም ከኢህአዴግ በሥነምግባር ጉድለት ተባረው ዛሬ ዙሪያውን በማዋቀጥ ተልካሻ የታሪክ መፅሐፍ በመቸርቸር ግን ሰብዓዊ ተሟጋች ሆነው ወጣቱን ለፀብ የሚጋብዙትን ሰላም በማደፍረስ የልማት የሀገር ሰላምና ዕድገትን የሚያደናቅፉትን መንግስት እየረዳና እየተንከባከበ ያላቸውን ሕጋዊ የፓርቲ ፍቃድ የሚያስነጥቅ አመፅ በግላጭ በአደባባይ መፈክር እያሰሙ ሲቀሰቅሱ ምንም በቂ እርምጃ ሳይወስድ በንጹሃን ደካማ ጋዜጠኞች(ተቺ)ፀሀፊያን ላይ የሚደርሰው አፈናና እንግልት፣ አድሎዓዊ እስር ..ከሜንጫ እስኪሪብቶ ጋዜጣና ትችት ከፈራ በእውነቱ ኢህአዴግ ከነበረበት ደረጃ በጣም ዝቅ ያደረገው ድሃ ታጋዮች የተሰውለት ዓለማና ተግባሩ ሁሉ በጥቂት ጥቅማጥቅመኞችና አስመሳይ አድርባዮች የተጠለፈበት አንደሆነ ሊረዳ ይገባል። “መድረክ ሲፋቅ ኢህአዴግ” ነው ማለቱ ከጥቅሙ ጉዳቱ ያመዝናል!!!ይታሰብበት>>>ሐሳብን በሀሳብ መሞገት እነጂ አትፃፍ አታፅፍ ማለት አድሎዓዊ በቀል የፈሪ ዱላ ያስመስላል በግለሰቡ ጋዜጣ ላይ ተፃፈ ለተባለው ነጥብ ሞጋች ፅሑፍ ማውጣት ብልህነት ነው።አራት ነጥብ። ንብረትና የሰው ህይወት ያጠፋነው የተፃፈ አንብበን ጭንቅላታችን ተናውጦ ነው የሚለው የየዋህ መከላከያ መልስ ግን “ነጻ እንድናወጣችሁ አከሌን ክሰሱና ዴሞክራሲያዊነታችንን በበቀል እናሳያችሁ ተብለው ነው። ይህም ቢኒያም ከበደ በአምቦ ዩኒቨርስቲ ያነጋገራቸው ልጆች ቃል በቃል የተነገራቸው አስኪጠፋባቸው ግን በትክክል ዛሬ ግለሰቡ የተከሰሰበትን ነጥብ አስረድተዋል የኦሮሞ ጎምቱ ሊሂቃንም ያንንዩ አብራርተውታል ። ለምን ይዋሻል!? ሕዝብ እና መንግስት ህግ ማክበር አለበት…በዚህ ዘመን ውይይት እንጂ ንበረትም ሰውም መጥፋት የለበትም የተማረ ያስተማር!ያልተማረ ይማር!ዕድገትና ብልጽግና በጋራ ለጋራ ለእኛ እነጂ ለእኔ ብቻ ማለት ይቅር።ሰላማዊ ጋዜጠኞች ፖለቲከኞች ጸሐፊያን ነፃ ይሁኑ በለው!

  22. Shekura June 1, 2014

    I personally do think that Elisa should not be detained and arrested , even we hared from the news media he was not allowed to have bail. This is unfair and injustice . first of all the piece of the article published o his paper was not his own piece . The persons who should be accountable should be the writer not Elias , you are shooting to the person who carries the massage not to the messenger. If any one has a counter argument of what was written he / she should also respond accordingly. this is the beuetiness of free media in an independent media every one is entitled to their opinion weather we like it or not ..If I don’t like the article I don’t buy at all.Press freedom starts here by arresting Elias , I think the government doing this the government seems breach its own press law.


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