Bizunesh Debebe

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Police arrested Bizunesh, publisher of the weekly independent Zegabi, and charged her with “violating the press law” for failing to publish the name of her newspaper’s deputy editor. While details of the specific charge were unavailable, local journalists commented that Ethiopian authorities often arrest and detain journalists on spurious charges or no charges at all, frequently setting prohibitive bail that they are unable to pay. Bizunesh had apparently not published any articles that were particularly critical of the government. The journalist was unable to raise bail of 5,000 birrs (approximately US$650) and remained in Addis Ababa’s central prison at year’s end.