Case   |   Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA

JUNE 30, 2005
Posted: July 12, 2005

Tadesse Kabede, Lisane Hezeb
Fassil Yenalem, Addis ZenaDaniel Gezahegne, Moged
LEGAL ACTION

The editors of three private weeklies were arrested and charged in connection with their work, according to CPJ sources and the Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Free Press Journalists' Association (EFJA). Kabede, Yenalem, and Gezahegne were released after paying 1,000 birr (US$114) each in bail. Two other senior editors of Lisane Hezeb were summoned and released without paying bail.

Kabede has been charged with defaming the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in an article that criticized church leaders for allegedly failing to speak out against the government's deadly June 8 crackdown on opposition supporters in the capital, according to CPJ sources and EFJA. Gezahegne was charged with defaming the Defense Ministry for printing a wire service photograph of armed police officers threatening a young student during the crackdown, those sources said. Yenalem was charged with defaming the Defense Ministry after his newspaper ran an interview with a former military commander who was critical of the ruling party, these sources reported.

JULY 6, 2005
Updated: August 17, 2005

Abiy Gizaw, Netsanet

LEGAL ACTION

Gizaw, editor-in-chief of the private Amharic-language weekly Netsanet, was arrested and accused of defaming the Defense Ministry in connection with three separate articles, according to CPJ sources.

One of the articles alleged that officials in the Ethiopian air force were divided about how to handle post-election unrest; another reported on a separatist movement in Ogaden, an area of Ethiopia bordering Somalia; and a third reprinted a statement released by a group of air force pilots who defected during a training program in Belarus in June, according to these sources. Gizaw was released the same day after paying bail of 500 birr (about US$57).

In August, Gizaw was formally charged with "disturbing the peace of civilians" and "attempting to divide the national armed forces," according to the Addis-based Daily Monitor.
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