New York, September 10, 2016–Ethiopian authorities today released Yusuf Getachew, editor-in-chief of Ye Muslimoch Guday (Muslim Affairs), who has been imprisoned since his arrest in July 2012, a relative of the journalist told CPJ. Yusuf was freed on the day that several prisoners were released as part of a presidential pardon for Ethiopia’s new year and Eid celebrations, according to reports.
“We are elated that Yusuf Getachew has finally been released from prison, but he should never have been jailed in the first place,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator. “We call on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately release all other journalists imprisoned in the country for their work.”
Yusuf was serving a seven-year sentence on anti-terrorism charges, after being convicted in August 2015, three years after his arrest, according to reports. During a court hearing in 2012, Yusuf said he was beaten in custody, local journalists told CPJ at the time. CPJ was unable to immediately determine if his release is unconditional.
Ethiopia is the third worst jailer of journalists in Africa, with 10 journalists imprisoned there at the time of CPJ’s last prison census.