CPJ Media availability on sentencing of Ethiopian blogger
6/21/2012 9:20:02 AM -
NEW YORK, June 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- On June 21, the government of Ethiopia is due to announce a verdict in the case of local journalist and blogger, Eskinder Nega, who faces a potential life sentence on vague terrorism charges that followed his writings discussing the Arab Spring and criticizing the government's use of terrorism legislation to jail dissidents. Since his arrest in 2011, CPJ has been closely monitoring Eskinder's case and advocating for his release.
Regional experts from the Committee to Protect Journalists are available in New York and Nairobi for interviews on Eskinder's case and Ethiopia's press freedom record.
Ethiopia is holding seven journalists behind bars, according to CPJ research, making it Africa's second leading jailer of journalists behind neighboring Eritrea.
Three Ethiopian and two Swedish journalists are being held under the anti-terrorism law.
In a meeting with Ethiopia's Communications Minister, Bereket Simon last week, CPJ and the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) called for the release of journalists being held under Ethiopia's anti-terrorism laws and requested a review of those laws as they affect freedom of speech.
A new law imposes prison sentences for offenses related to the independent use of telecommunications tools and services in the country.