Ethiopian journalist Abebe Bayu was recently abducted in Addis Ababa, beaten, and robbed. (Screenshot: Ethio Forum/YouTube)

Ethiopian journalist Abebe Bayu abducted and assaulted

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Last week, unidentified men in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa abducted Ethio Forumjournalist Abebe Bayu at gunpoint, drove him to the city’s outskirts, and warned him to cease criticizing the government. They then seized both of his cell phones and fled the scene. Three days later, Ethio Forum announced on Facebook that it was forced to temporarily cease broadcasting, but could not explain why.

“Impunity for attacks on the press must not be allowed to fester in Ethiopia, and all journalists must feel safe to report freely,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator.

Ethio Forum has recently reported on conflict in the northern Tigray region, and its administrator, Yayesew Shimelis, was arrested last year.

Global press freedom updates

  • CPJ seeks transparency behind the United States’ recent takedown of 36 websites for allegedly violating sanctions on Iran
  • Indian journalist Pateshwari Singh assaulted after critical coverage of Uttar Pradesh politician
  • Mexican media worker Saúl Tijerina killed in Ciudad Acuña
  • Hong Kong police arrest former Apple Daily editorial writer Fung Wai-kong at airport
  • Belarusian journalist Raman Pratasevich’s parents speak to CPJ about their efforts to free their son
  • Turkish police assault and detain AFP photographer Bülent Kılıç while covering Istanbul Pride march. Separately, Turkish journalist and press freedom advocate Hakkı Boltan was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the president and prime minister
  • Palestinian security forces assault at least five journalists covering protests in Ramallah
  • Syrian security forces arrest journalist Bassam Safar at Damascus checkpoint
  • Iraqi Kurdish court sentences photojournalist Qaraman Shukri to seven years in prison in secret trial
  • Russian police interrogate three journalists with investigative outlet Proekt, raid apartments
  • Serbian journalists speak to CPJ about being accused of links to organized crime
  • Liberian journalist Aryee Davis threatened, harassed online over reporting on alleged fraud
  • Angola charges two more journalists with criminal defamation over corruption reporting
  • Police restrict reporters’ access to Canadian anti-logging protests. Separately, photojournalist Ian Willms detained while covering police in Toronto
  • Ecuadorian journalist Luis Eduardo Vivanco receives death threats
  • Uzbek news websites and fined for allegedly publishing ‘religious material’ without approval


As pandemic deaths in Latin America surpass 1 million and vaccine access is sparse, emergency measures put in place in response to COVID-19 have exacerbated already precarious conditions for journalists in the region, according to a new report from CPJ, in partnership with TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono service.

The report looks at emergency measures in Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Peru as case studies for the region. It found that official COVID-19 responses often impacted the public’s ability to access information, including critical public health news and guidance. Read the full report and its findings in English and Spanish here.

For more on the global impact of COVID-19, explore our map, which illustrates 221 press freedom violations CPJ has documented related to the pandemic.

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