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Ethiopia: Dissident blogger sentenced to 18 years

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s federal court on Friday sentenced a prominent dissident blogger and 23 other opposition activists to long prison terms on terror charges, in a ruling that critics decried as politically motivated.

Prominent journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega, who received a prestigious press freedom award from PEN America in May, was sentenced by the court to 18 years in prison. Read the rest of this entry

Ethiopia: Journalists Living in Fear of the ‘Terror’ Law

June 21, 2012
 In nation after nation, journalists are attempting to inform their people of their rights and encourage them to hold their governments accountable. For this, many of them are being held accountable in the most draconian of ways.

In Zimbabwe, for example, Robert Mugabe’s regime has long attempted to conceal the repression of its people. Journalists have fought back and continue to expose hidden realities, despite facing the prospect of jail as a consequence.

Most recently, this has been happening in Ethiopia, where Eskinder Nega, a journalist I visited seven years ago in Kalati Prison, along with his pregnant wife, Serkalem Fasil (who gave birth in prison), is back in jail now on charges of terrorism. What appears to have been his crime is that he continues to tell, if not yell, truth to power – although the government is actually prosecuting him for what they say is his membership in a terrorist network that advocates violence. As ‘proof’ at his trial, they showed a video in which he questioned whether an Arab Spring-type uprising could ever happen in Ethiopia. Read the rest of this entry

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