Befekadu Hailu

16 results arranged by date

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 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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Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega, center, pictured on his release from jail in February 2018. Ethiopian authorities rearrested Eskinder and at least four other journalists on March 25 under the country's current state of emergency. (AFP/Yonas Tadesse)

Ethiopia arrests at least five journalists during state of emergency

Nairobi, March 26, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Ethiopian authorities to release five journalists. Security forces yesterday arrested Eskinder Nega, Temesghen Desalegn, Zone 9 bloggers Befekadu Hailu and Mahlet Fantahun, and Zelalem Workagegnehu, who were gathered at Temesghen’s house in Addis Ababa, according to reports and a statement by the Swiss-based Association…

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An undated picture of members of the Zone 9 blogging collective. One of the bloggers is waiting for a court to drop an incitement charge against him. (Endalkachew H/Michael)

CPJ calls on Ethiopia to drop case against Zone 9 blogger

Nairobi, February 16, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Ethiopian authorities to drop an incitement charge against Zone 9 blogger Atnafu Berhane. Prosecutors told a court on February 14 they planned to drop the charge today, but the process was delayed by a paperwork error, Atnafu told CPJ. He added that a judge…

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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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Members of the Zone 9 blogging group. (Endalkachew H/Michael)

Ethiopian newspaper editor, bloggers caught in worsening crackdown

Nairobi, November 17, 2016–Ethiopia should immediately release all journalists detained amid an intensifying crackdown on the media, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In recent weeks, Ethiopian authorities have jailed a newspaper editor and detained two members of the award-winning Zone 9 bloggers’ collective, which has faced continuous legal harassment on terrorism and incitement…

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Ethiopia arrests second journalist in a week, summons Zone 9 bloggers

Nairobi, December 27, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Ethiopia to release the editor-in-chief of Negere Ethiopia online newspaper, Getachew Shiferaw, who was arrested on Friday, according to news reports.

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In Ethiopia, Zone 9 bloggers acquitted of terrorism charges

Nairobi, October 16, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the acquittal by an Ethiopian court today of four Zone 9 bloggers charged with terrorism. Abel Wabella, Atnaf Berhane, and Natnail Feleke, jailed since April 2014, are scheduled to be released today, while exiled blogger Soleyana S. Gebremichael was acquitted in absentia, news reports said. A…

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Ethiopia releases five journalists, drops all charges against them

Nairobi, July 8, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison today of two bloggers affiliated with the independent Ethiopian collective Zone 9 and three other journalists. All charges have been dropped against them, according to exiled Ethiopian journalists who spoke to CPJ and a report by the pro-government Fana Radio. The journalists–editor…

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