Ethiopian journalist Temerat Negara was recently released after being imprisoned for four months without charge. (Screenshot: Terara Network/YouTube)

CPJ welcomes release of Ethiopian journalist Temerat Negara after 4 months in prison

Nairobi, April 6, 2022 – The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed the release of Ethiopian journalist Temerat Negara on bail on Wednesday, April 6, and called for any remaining investigation into his work to be dropped immediately.

“It is great news that Ethiopian journalist Temerat Negara is out of prison, but it is a grave injustice that he was held for four months behind bars without being charged with any crime,” said CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative, Muthoki Mumo. “Officials who abused Ethiopia’s judicial system to arbitrarily detain Temerat must be held to account, and authorities must drop any pending investigations into him and allow him to continue working freely.”

Temerat, co-founder and editor of the Terara Network online news outlet, was granted bail of 50,000 birr (US$980) on Tuesday, and was released from a detention facility in Oromia regional state on Wednesday, according to news reports.

Authorities held Temerat without charge since arresting him on December 10, 2021, amid a nationwide state of emergency as part of the government’s response to a civil war against rebel forces allied with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Temerat was first detained in the capital, Addis Ababa, and was transferred to Oromia, where authorities requested he be detained while they investigated allegations that he disseminated disinformation, smeared the name of Oromia regional state, and defamed senior government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, according to CPJ reporting and media reports.