Ethiopian journalists tell us that police in Addis Ababa have finally released 10,000 copies of Enku magazine that were impounded on May 2 because of a cover story about the jailed pop music icon and government critic Teddy Afro. The May edition is expected to finally go on sale on Saturday. CPJ had protested the seizure with Ethiopian officials.
We also denounced the arrests of Enku‘s deputy editor and owner, Alemayehu Mahtemework, and three staffers, who were accused of “inciting the public” against the government because of the magazine’s interviews with the singer’s supporters. Mahtemework and his colleagues were released without charge after five days in custody.
Mahtemework told CPJ he received a phone call Thursday morning from police saying that he could collect the seized copies of his monthly entertainment magazine. He called it a “happy ending to a sad story” and thanked CPJ for “standing by us.”
CPJ recently protested a pending media bill in Ethiopia that would, among other things, allow prosecutors to summarily impound any print publication deemed a threat to public order or national security.