Eskinder Nega is arrested again today for the 10th time. This time he was arrested by the Amhara Region security forces near Bahir Dar where he was taking shelter after he decided to leave Addis Ababa temporarily due to increased harassment and death threats by the federal government. It is not yet clear why the Amhara Region arrested Eskinder. There was no arrest warrant for him.
Following the news of Eskinder’s arrest, Ethiopians throughout the world are expressing outrage and demanding the Amhara Region release him immediately.
Eskinder Nega is a prominent Ethiopian civil rights leader who has been at the forefront of the peaceful struggle for human rights and freedom of expression in Ethiopia. He has been a vocal critic of the current and previous Ethiopian governments and has been arrested multiple times for his activism.
In July 2020, he was detained along with several other journalists and activists in Addis Ababa for peacefully voicing criticism against the government’s civil rights abuses, including demolishing homes without due process.
During the previous regime, he was arrested and charged with terrorism in 2011 for his reporting on government corruption and human rights violations. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, but his sentence was later reduced to seven years on appeal.
In 2018, when Abiy Ahmed’s regime, which is now led by the Oromo Prosperity Party (Oromo PP) came to power, Eskinder and hundreds of other prisoners of conscience were released. In just one year after coming to power, Abiy Ahmed reneged on his promise to respect citizens’ fundamental right to freedom of speech and started detaining Eskinder and others who participated in peaceful protests. Ethiopia’s prisons are once again filled with prisoners of conscience after.
The repeated arrests of Eskinder Nega and other civil rights leaders in Ethiopia are a clear indication of the Ethiopian local and federal authorities’ hostility towards dissent and criticism. They also highlight the ongoing struggle for human rights in Ethiopia, where freedom of expression and assembly are severely curtailed.
It is crucial that all Ethiopians, and the international community, including governments, civil society organizations, and media outlets, strongly condemn the arrest of Eskinder Nega and demand the release of all prisoners of conscience.
Please contact Amhara Region Communication Office
Tel: +251 58 226 3117
Email: [email protected]
Also, express your views on your social media pages.