HRW: Ethiopia should mark World Press Freedom Day by releasing all jailed journalists
Ethiopia: Terrorism Law Decimates Media
(Nairobi) – The Ethiopian government should mark World Press Freedom Day, on May 3, 2013, by immediately releasing all journalists jailed under the country’s deeply flawed anti-terrorism law. On May 2, 2013, the Supreme Court upheld an 18-year sentence under the anti-terrorism law for Eskinder Nega Fenta, a journalist and blogger who received the 2012 PEN Freedom to Write Award.
Eleven journalists have been convicted and sentenced since 2011 under Ethiopia’s repressive anti-terrorism law, including six in absentia. Three of the eleven are currently in prison. Two other journalists are currently on trial under the anti-terrorism law. Another journalist, Temesgen Desalegn, the editor of the now defunct independent magazine Feteh, is on trial for three offenses under the criminal code.
“Ethiopia’s journalists shouldn’t be spending World Press Freedom Day in jail on trumped-up terrorism charges,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Freeing these journalists would be an important step toward improving Ethiopia’s deteriorating record on press freedom.” Read More