Home | News    Monday 21 July 2014

Ethiopia under fire over prosecution of Zone 9 bloggers

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

July 20, 2014 (NAIROBI) – International condemnation mounts against Ethiopia following a Federal High Court’s decision on Friday to press charges against a group of nine Ethiopian bloggers and journalists.

The bloggers who are members of a social media activist group known as Zone 9 were arrested late in April for alleged links with an outlawed group and planning to carry out terrorist attacks to destabilize nation.

The reporters had been accused of receiving financial and logistical support from a US-based Ethiopian opposition movement, Ginbot 7, a group labelled by Ethiopian government as a terrorist entity.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Saturday urged Ethiopian authorities to immediately drop the charges pressed against the bloggers and journalists saying the charges were “politically motivated”

Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch accused Ethiopia of ’making a mockery’ of its judicial system.

“Hiding behind an abusive anti-terrorism law to prosecute bloggers and journalists doing their job is an affront to the constitution and international protection for free expression.” He said.

The New York-based press freedom group, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) to its side said the government in Addis Ababa was trying to stifle opposition voices and media freedom in the country.

"Expressing critical views is not a terrorist act. Once again, the Ethiopian government is misusing anti-terrorism legislation to suppress political dissent and intimidate journalists," Tom Rhodes, CPJ’s East Africa representative, said in a statement.

An opposition official on Sunday told Sudan Tribune that crackdown against critical journalists, opposition figures members and supporters was a common trend of the Ethiopian government ahead national elections.

Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegen earlier this week denied the that members of the Zone 9 bloggers were arrested for being critical to government but for having links with terrorists and for receiving instruction from the banned group.

Desalegn pledged his government will conduct democratic, free and fair elections something an opposition official referred it as “empty pledge”.

Ethiopia which is considered as regional key security partner of the US government had long been under fire of using the broadly defined anti-terrorism law as a tool to curb freedom of expression and to silence opposition voices.

The US government has also expresses grave concern against the prosecution of the journalists and urged the Ethiopian government to ensure that the trial is fair, transparent, and in compliance with Ethiopia’s constitutional guarantees and international human rights obligations.

“We urge the Ethiopian government to ensure that the trial is open to public observation and free of political influence” said, Jen Psaki, US state Department Spokesperson.

“We reiterate Secretary Kerry’s May 1 call on Ethiopia to refrain from
using anti-terrorism laws as a mechanism to curb the free exchange of ideas” Psaki added.

The trial against the nine bloggers and journalists – one is charged in absentia – is expected to resume on 4 August.

Lawyers of the suspects have all dismissed the charges and told reporters that there was no credible evidence to prosecute them.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 21 July 2014 10:52, by magic

    Ethiopia is the worst country in Africa and in the world when it comes to human right abuse by the government. The government controls every propaganda and media. Though there are private radios, news papers, magazines and other communication methods, they are not allowed to criticize the government or the party. Their newly constitute regarding the terrorism has controlled every one even their ch

  • 21 July 2014 10:53, by magic

    Their newly constitute regarding the terrorism has controlled every one even their church members. Currently opposition party members, bloggers, journalists, Muslim community leaders and other activists are held in Jail by false charges related to terrorism.
    However the US and UK governments which are allays to Ethiopian government don’t take serious action against the government which is violati

  • 21 July 2014 10:54, by magic

    However the US and UK governments which are allays to Ethiopian government don’t take serious action against the government which is violating human rights of its own people. Despite some economic boast in the country, Ethiopians are suffering from right violations by their government. Most citizens are ashamed to talk about it if you ask them about democracy in their country.



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Why Sudan’s interests lie in U.S. delisting and normalization with Israel 2020-10-22 06:08:56 By: Trayo A. Ali How will the de-linking of the American process for removing Sudan from the State Sponsor of Terror (SST) list from its process of normalizing relations with Israel diminish (...)

No to calls for anti-peace protests 2020-10-22 06:07:08 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman Some traditional Sudanese political parties have grown old and are crying out to demand that the Sudanese people go out on October 21, 2020, in a major demonstration to (...)

The 21 October March: Who is the Enemy? 2020-10-21 05:52:11 By Yasir Arman One of the main features of the December revolution is its vitality and the broad participation of women and youth, resistance committees, martyrs' families, forces from the (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Sudan: Performing arts is not a crime, assaulting women and artists is! 2020-09-20 08:54:28 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Sudan is still struggling with militant Islamist ideology KHARTOUM: Central Khartoum Primary Court issued a verdict against five (...)

Civil Society Statement in Response to The Law of Various Amendments 2020-08-14 07:11:00 A Collaborative Civil Society Statement in Response to The Law of Various Amendments (Abolishing and Amending Provisions Restricting Freedom) – Exposing ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ Sudanese women (...)

Remarks by SRF leaders at the Friend of Sudan meeting on peace 2020-08-13 07:58:58 Chairman of the Friends of Sudan Conference, Your Excellency, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The Prime Minister of Sudan and the participating team from the (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2020 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.