New York, February 1, 2010—An Ethiopian judge sentenced a journalist to prison on Friday in connection with a January 2008 column that criticized Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s statements about religious affairs in Ethiopia, according to local journalists.
Federal High Court Judge Mohammed Omar sentenced Editor Ezedin Mohamed of the Muslim-oriented newspaper Al-Quds to one year in prison. The precise charges were not immediately available but were related to a January 30, 2008, column that came in response to Zenawi’s interview with The Guardian of London that month, according to CPJ sources.
“The jailing of Ezedin Mohamed is another example of Ethiopia’s intolerance of independent and critical voices,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator
Mohamed is the fifth journalist imprisoned in Ethiopia, which is the second worst jailer of journalists in Africa, according to CPJ research. Only Eritrea jails more.