Monday, December 28, 2015

Ethiopia Arrests Second Journalist in a Week, Rights Body Says - Bloomberg Business

Ethiopia Arrests Second Journalist in a Week, Rights Body Says - Bloomberg Business: "Ethiopia Arrests Second Journalist in a Week, Rights Body Says
William Davison
December 28, 2015 — 9:30 AM CET
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Don't Miss Out — Follow Bloomberg On
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

Police detain Oromo opposition leader after protests
Politicans suspected of inciting violence across Oromia region
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Ethiopian authorities arrested two journalists in the span of one week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said, asking the East African nation to allow for greater openness.
Getachew Shiferaw, editor in chief of Negere Ethiopia online newspaper, was arrested on Dec. 25, following the Dec. 19 detention of Fikadu Mirkana, an anchor at state-run broadcaster Oromia Radio and TV.
An Ethiopian court granted permission to hold him for 28 days for interrogation after which he is likely to be charged under the nation’s anti-terrorism law, according to the CPJ. The rules criminalize any reporting that authorities might consider encouraging to causes or groups the government labels as terrorist.
“Ethiopia prides itself on development, but economic growth is a hollow achievement if the public does not enjoy fundamental human rights such as the right to receive and share information and divergent viewpoints,” Sue Valentine, the CPJ’s Africa coordinator, said in an e-mailed statement.
Ethiopia’s police also detained Bekele Gerba, a leading opposition figure from the Oromo ethnic group that’s been protesting against an urban development plan over the last month, according to a government spokesman. 
Bekele and three other detained leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress, or OFC, are suspected of inciting violent demonstrations against the expansion of the capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia regional state, Communications Minister Getachew Reda said.
Oromo Opposition
“They’re suspected of committing crimes and conspiring to organize mobs to destroy property,” he said by phone from the capital on Thursday.
Security forces killed 82 unarmed Oromo demonstrators during the protests that began last month and spread across Oromia, Ethiopia’s most-populous region that surrounds Addis Ababa, according to the OFC. The government is still collecting information on fatalities and vandalism, Getachew said.
Amnesty International said last October that 5,000 Oromos had been illegally detained for political reasons since 2011. Bekele Gerba was released from prison in April after serving less than three years of an eight-year sentence for working with the banned Oromo Liberation Front. 
The arrests on Thursday are part of another widespread crackdown against Oromo political activists and demonstrators, said Merera Gudina, the OFC’s leader. “I think the government is very angry because millions of people are protesting for their rights across Oromia, so they are trying to punish the opposition,” he said by phone from Addis Ababa on Thursday."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ethiopia arrests journalist after channel reports on protests - Committee to Protect Journalists

  • Ethiopia arrests journalist after channel reports on protests - Committee to Protect Journalists: "Ethiopia arrests journalist after channel reports on protests

    Text Size Print
    Nairobi, December 22, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Ethiopia to release news anchor Fikadu Mirkana. Fikadu, who works for the state-run broadcaster Oromia Radio and TV, was arrested at his Addis Ababa home on Saturday morning, according to news reports.

    CPJ could not determine the reason for Fikadu's arrest. It comes as Oromia Radio and TV has, in recent weeks, covered protests against a plan to expand the Ethiopian capital, in a move that campaigners say would displace hundreds of thousands of farmers, according to news reports. Dozens of protesters have been killed during clashes with police during the unrest in the regional state of Oromia, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

    "Journalists have a vital role to play in ensuring the flow of information, both from the Ethiopian government and also, critically, from those who will be affected by its decisions," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine in New York. "We call on authorities to release Fikadu Mirkana immediately."

    It is not clear where Fikadu is being held and neither his family nor his lawyers have been allowed access to him, an Addis Ababa-based journalist, who has spoken with Fikadu's family and who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, told CPJ.

    The Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian embassy in Nairobi did not immediately respond to CPJ's request for details about Fikadu's arrest.

    In recent weeks, the Ethiopian government has used anti-terror rhetoric against campaigners, with the communications minister, Getachew Reda, branding them "terrorists" and "demonic," according to a column by Awol Allo, a fellow in human rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science, published Saturday on Al-Jazeera's website. This language usually presages a crackdown on dissenters, the column said. Protests in Oromia, a region that stretches across central Ethiopia and is home to a third of the country's population, have affected at least 30 towns and prompted the arrest of more than 500 people since mid-November, according to news reports.

    Ethiopia is the third largest jailer of journalists on the African continent, with at least 10 behind bars on December 1, CPJ's 2015 prison census shows."


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ex Eastern African Journalists Association leader Arrested in Ethiopia, Awaits Deportation | Breaking News and Opinion


Ethiopian Security forces on Sunday arrested former FESTU Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman upon arrival at Bole International Airport, awaiting deportations, officials said.
According to the Somali embassy in Addis Ababa, Omar Faruk arrived at Bole airport to attend the 13th African Regional Meeting of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and was arrested upon arrival.
The Ethiopian immigration Authorities deported Omar Faruk Osman on July 2015 as he tried to enter and meet African Union officials who still believe that Omar is the legitimate leader for the various organizations he claims including NUSOJ, FESTU and EAJA, according to the Ethiopia media reports.
In December 2013 an Ethiopian court ordered the deportation of Omar to Somalia after finding him money fraud and corruption, after an Ethiopian court in Addis Ababa made a hearing on a case against Omar Faruk Osman, who is a Somali origin, and was arrested by the Ethiopian Federal police on arrival at Boley International airport in Addis, following a complaint made by Ethiopian hotels and companies over money fraud.
Omar was deported to Somalia after his family members paid the hotel bills and tickets. He was escorted to Wajale, a small town town at the Ethiopian border with Somaliland
Somali’s National Union of journalists (NUSOJ) replaced Omar Faruk Osman on February 2011 over corruption and mismanagement, Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) replaced him on September 2013 in similar allegations,  while Eastern African Journalists Association (EAJA) suspended him from leadership in January 2014 replacing him by Alexandre Niyungeko from the Union of Burundi Journalists to the position in an acting capacity.