Getachew Worku

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

An Addis Ababa court on November 15 sentenced Getachew Worku, editor of the independent weekly newspaper Ethio-Mihidar, to one year in prison over an article alleging corruption in a monastery, the Addis Standardreported.

Getachew was accused of defaming the Saint Mary’s patriarchal monastery by alleging that its leadership was linked to corruption, according to media reports. Prosecutors charged him with defamation and spreading false information under Article 613 of the Ethiopian criminal code, Africa News reported.

Getachew pleaded not guilty and will appeal, an exiled Ethiopian journalist who followed the case from Kenya and who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, told CPJ.

The journalist in Kenya, who has spoken with colleagues of Getachew, said the newspaper was ordered to print a correction and to publicize details of the court verdict in Getachew’s case. CPJ was unable to determine if the correction and details of the verdict were published.

Getachew’s reporting focuses on corruption in Ethiopian institutions. In November 2013, CPJ documented how Getachew and two colleagues were detained briefly over a report alleging corruption in Legetafo, a town northeast of Addis Ababa.

Getachew is being held at Qilinto prison.