Reeyot Alemu

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Blog   |   Ethiopia

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

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)

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.

January 7, 2016 3:24 PM ET

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Reports   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam

Slideshow: Journalists freed

While just under 200 journalists are behind bars, CPJ witnessed several memorable releases in 2015, including in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and even secretive Eritrea. Some of the journalists had spent years behind bars; they endured isolation and several say they were tortured. This year, CPJ’s advocacy contributed to the release of at least 31 journalists. Some of their stories are shown here.

Statements   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia releases imprisoned journalist Reeyot Alemu

New York, July 9, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison today of Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu, a critical columnist who has been jailed since June 2011 on terrorism charges. Reeyot was sentenced in 2012 to 14 years in prison, which was reduced to five years on appeal. Reeyot told CPJ today that she was happy to be free and that her health was "okay," but that she was still taking painkillers. The journalist suffered from breast tumors while in prison.

Attacks on the Press   |   South Africa, Swaziland

Outdated secrecy laws stifle the press in South Africa

A woman from the Right2Know campaign protests with her child against the State Information Bill, which would enable the prosecution of whistleblowers, public advocates, and journalists who reveal corruption, in Cape Town on April 25, 2013. (AP/Schalk van Zuydam)

Nelson Mandela regularly harangued the media once he'd been freed after 27 years of imprisonment by South Africa's apartheid government. He would call individual journalists when he liked or disliked something they had written or when he wanted to advance a political lobby.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

One year after arrest Zone 9 bloggers remain imprisoned as trial drags on

It will be one year this weekend since six bloggers were arrested in Addis Ababa, just days after the group announced on Facebook that their Zone 9 blog would resume publishing after seven months of inactivity. As the anniversary of the arrests approaches on Saturday, Soleyana S. Gebremichale, one of the Zone 9 founders who was charged in absentia, told me the situation was not hopeless.

Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Ten journalists to free from prison

On World Press Freedom Day,
CPJ calls for the release of all jailed journalists

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste is in prison in Egypt on charges of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

By Shazdeh Omari/CPJ News Editor

New York, April 29, 2014—Uzbek editor Muhammad Bekjanov has been in jail for 15 years, one of the longest imprisonments of journalists worldwide. Prominent Iranian journalist Siamak Ghaderi was imprisoned in 2010 and has been beaten and whipped in custody. Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai, serving a 12-year jail term, could barely walk or talk during a prison visit in July 2013, his family said.

Attacks on the Press   |   Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa

Pressure on Journalists Rises Along With Africa's Prospects

After a decade of unprecedented growth and development, the insistence on positive news remains a significant threat to press freedom in sub-Saharan Africa. By Mohamed Keita

A newspaper displayed in the Ikoyi district of Lagos on September 30, 2013, tells of a deadly attack on a college in northeast Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram militants. Coverage of the group can be sensitive in Nigeria. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)
A newspaper displayed in the Ikoyi district of Lagos on September 30, 2013, tells of a deadly attack on a college in northeast Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram militants. Coverage of the group can be sensitive in Nigeria. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

Statements   |   Ethiopia

African media leaders must address Ethiopia's repression

New York, November 5, 2013--As media leaders and officials of regional institutions gather in Addis Ababa this week for the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF), the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the participants to ensure that press freedom is squarely on the agenda.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

Africa's journalists honor jailed editor Woubshet Taye

Woubshet Taye's wife Berhane Tesfaye and their son accepted an award on behalf of the imprisoned journalist. (CPJ/Sue Valentine)

Journalists and media owners across Africa gave Ethiopian journalist Woubshet Taye a standing ovation in Cape Town on Saturday night at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2013, but he wasn't there to see it. Instead his wife and son accepted the Free Press Award on his behalf.

Part of the citation for the award reads: "Ethiopia is a jewel in the African crown for its beauty, its people, its history and, most recently, for its astonishing growth rates. It is the judges' view that journalists like Woubshet Taye and his colleagues Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega should be out of prison and working to build the prosperity and the freedom of a new Ethiopia. The judges make this award in recognition of Mr. Taye's work and in solidarity with his condition."

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