JULY 6, 2005
Updated: August 17, 2005

Abiy Gizaw, Netsanet


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.