Ethiopia / Africa

Journalists attacked in Ethiopia since 1992

  
Fighting breaks out as security personnel attempt to re-arrest Nigerian activist and journalist Omoyele Sowore at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria, on December 6, 2019. Sowore and other activist-journalists have been jailed in Nigeria and Ethiopia amid a crackdown on free expression. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Nigeria and Ethiopia jail activist-journalists amid crackdown on free expression

The ongoing detentions of Nigerian publisher Agba Jalingo and Ethiopian editor Fekadu Mahtemework–the only journalists behind bars for their work in their countries, according to CPJ’s latest prison census–don’t tell the whole story of their governments’ crackdowns on freedom of expression.

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Ethiopians read newspapers in Addis Ababa on June 24. Following what the government refers to as a failed attempted coup, access to the internet was cut and journalists were arrested. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

In era of reform, Ethiopia still reverts to old tactics to censor press

On June 22, Ethiopia was plunged into an internet blackout following what the government described as a failed attempted coup in the Amhara region. In the aftermath at least two journalists were detained under the country’s repressive anti-terror law, part of an uptick in arrests that CPJ has noted in the country since May.

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks during a press conference in Addis Ababa, in August 2018. Since Abiy's election, conditions for Ethiopia's journalists have improved, but some challenges remain. (AFP/Michael Tewelde)

Under Abiy, Ethiopia’s media have more freedom but challenges remain

During a trip to Addis Ababa in January, it was impossible to miss the signs that Ethiopian media are enjoying unprecedented freedom. A flurry of new publications were on the streets. At a public forum that CPJ attended, journalists spoke about positive reforms, but also openly criticized their lack of access to the government. At…

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Ethiopian photojournalist Aziza Mohamed, pictured in Nairobi in 2014 with her colleagues, from left, Endalkachew Tesfaye and Endale Teshi, who both now live in the U.S. and Habtamu Seyoum, who is still waiting for resettlement. (CPJ/Nicole Schilit)

Ethiopian photojournalist shares experiences of going into exile

For World Refugee Day, exiled Ethiopian photojournalist Aziza Mohamed spoke with CPJ Journalist Assistance Program Coordinator Nicole Schilit about her experience of being a refugee and eventually being resettled in the U.S. [This transcript of Aziza’s comments has been edited for length and clarity.]

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Ethiopian jounalist Eskinder Nega (center) is released from jail in February 2018. The country's authorities since re-arrested Eskinder and at least five other journalists. (AFP/Yonas Tadesse)

CPJ joins call for Ethiopia’s prime minister-designate to ensure journalists’ immediate release

The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with 40 civil society organizations, yesterday sent a joint letter to Ethiopia’s prime minister-designate, Abiy Ahmed, urging him to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of recently arrested journalists, and human rights defenders.

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The skyline of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, in January 2017. Press freedom conditions remain stark, with journalists jailed or facing legal action, internet shutdowns, and reports of surveillance. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

Why release of two journalists in Ethiopia does not signal end to press crackdown

On January 10, radio journalists Darsema Sori and Khalid Mohammed were released from prison after serving lengthy sentences related to their work at the Ethiopian faith-based station Radio Bilal. Despite their release and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s promise earlier this month to free political prisoners, Ethiopia’s use of imprisonment, harassment, and surveillance means that the…

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Police fire tear gas during a festival in Ethiopia's Oromia region. After months of protests, authorities have imposed a state of emergency that includes blocking access to social media. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

Ethiopia’s state of emergency cuts lines of communication and puts bloggers at risk of arrest

On October 4, I heard that my friend Natnael Feleke had not returned home even though it was approaching midnight in Ethiopia. Family and friends were discussing where to search for the blogger, who had only been released 11 months earlier from the notorious Kilinto prison, where he was held for 16 months over his…

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Reeyot Alemu embraces Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy at CPJ's 2015 International Press Freedom Awards. Both were freed from prison last year. (Getty Images/Michael Nagle)

‘They wanted me to say I was wrong’: Freed Ethiopian journalist on why 1,500 days in jail failed to silence her

Reeyot Alemu, an Ethiopian journalist who worked for the independent weekly Feteh, spent almost 1,500 days in prison after being arrested in June 2011 and charged with terrorism in 2012. She was released unexpectedly in July.

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Members of the Zone 9 blogging group. Four of the bloggers are currently on trial in Ethiopia. (Endalkachew H/Michael)

In Ethiopia, drawn out Zone 9 trial serves to further punish bloggers

On Friday the Zone 9 bloggers are due to appear in court in Ethiopia for the 39th time since their arrest in April 2014. Endalk Chala, a co-founder of the group which is being honored with an International Press Freedom Award from CPJ this year, provides an overview of the drawn out trial and finds…

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A rally for the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front in Addis Ababa. The general election is on May 24 but with a diminished press, many voters struggle to find independent information. (AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

With limited independent press, Ethiopians left voting in the dark

On Sunday Ethiopians go to the polls in the country’s fifth general election since the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front came to power more than 20 years ago. Citizens are expected to choose the right party to lead them for the next five years. To do so, they need to have a clear understanding…

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