Ethiopia's 'war against terror' used to silence journalists: Pillay

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Media freedom for a better future

The fight against terrorism in Ethiopia cannot be used as an excuse to intimidate and silence journalists, bloggers, activists and members of civil society organizations.

That's what Navi Pillay, the UN human rights chief said on the eve of World Press Freedom Day celebrated on 3 May.

She expressed concern over the recent wave of arrests and increasing climate of intimidation against journalists and bloggers prevailing in the country.

In April, six members of the blogging collective Zone Nine and three journalists were arrested in Addis Ababa.

Rupert Colville is Pillay's Spokesperson.

"On 27 April 2014, they appeared before the Arada Court of First Instance in Addis Ababa. Although the exact charges against each of them remain unclear, our office has received information that they were arrested for "working with foreign human rights organizations and inciting violence through social media to create instability in the country." The nine detainees are reportedly being held incommunicado and some of their family members who tried to bring them food over the weekend were denied access." (31″)

Since January 2012, a number of journalists have been convicted under the Anti-terrorism Proclamation to sentences ranging from five years to life imprisonment.

Two journalists arrested in July 2012 and January 2013 under the same law are currently in detention, awaiting their trial.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

 

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