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Published On: Thu, May 1st, 2014

Ethiopian government arrests six bloggers and a journalist for ‘opposing view’

The Ethiopian government has arrested six independent bloggers and a journalist in what human rights group Amnesty International has called a “suffocating grip on freedom of expression”.

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

Six members of independent blogger and activist group ‘Zone 9’ and a prominent Ethiopian journalist were arrested in the capital Addis Ababa.

All six bloggers were arrested at night by armed security forces and taken from their homes to the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector ‘Maikelawi’, where political prisoners are alleged to be held in pre-trial, and sometimes arbitrary detention.

The Zone 9 group who are said to be very critical of government policy and have a strong following on social media had temporarily suspended their activities earlier this year after accusing the government of harassing their members.

Journalist Tesfalem Waldyes who writes independent commentary on political issues for a Ethiopian newspaper was also arrested.

According to Ethiopian journalist Simegnish Yekoye, Waldyes is being denied visitation by friends and family and it’s unclear what prompted his arrest and what charges he is being held under.

In the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, media watchdogs say 49 journalists fled the country between 2007 and 2012 to evade government persecution.

Human rights group Amesty International criticized the arrests, saying “these arrests appear to be yet another alarming round up of opposition or independent voices”. 

“The Ethiopian government is tightening its suffocating grip on freedom of expression in a major crackdown which has seen the arrest of numerous independent, critical and opposition voices over the last two days”, Claire Beston, Ethiopia researcher at Amnesty International, said.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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