Amnesty International calls on Ethiopia gov’t to release detained media staff

The United Kingdom based international non-governmental organization Amnesty International (AI) on Monday called on the Ethiopian government to immediately released detained media staff. 

In a press statement, AI called on Ethiopian authorities to immediately release seven media staff detained and generally protect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful protest for all.

“The chilling arrests of Genet Asmamaw, Getnet Aragaw, Aragaw Sisay, Meskerem Abera, Abay Zewdu, Dawit Begashaw and Tewodros Asfaw are an attack on the right to freedom of expression and media freedom. Authorities must immediately release all seven journalists and drop all charges against them. They must also investigate reports that Genet Asmamaw was violently assaulted when she was arrested and hold the perpetrators accountable,” said Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for campaigns East Africa, Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes regions.

In recent months, non-state affiliated media outlets are coming under relentless attacks as the Ethiopian government moves to stifle dissident voices.

The crackdown has prompted the Ethiopian Mass Media Professionals Association, Ethiopia’s largest journalists and media worker’s association and the New York based media advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemning the intimidation and arrest of journalists. 

Tuesday’s AI report also expressed concern about reports of violations and violence in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region, where multiple reports of exchanges of gunfire have been reported, including the killing of two humanitarian workers and the mass arrests across Ethiopia.

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