The US based international media freedom advocacy group, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Saturday called on Ethiopian authorities to release independent journalist, Gobeze Sisay.
“Ethiopian authorities have brazenly reached across borders to silence and retaliate against journalist Gobeze Sisay. His arrest will instill fear in all the journalists who have fled the country, seeking safety in exile,” said CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative, Muthoki Mumo in a press statement.
Muthoki called on authorities in Ethiopia and Djibouti to shed light on the murky circumstances surrounding Gobeze’s arrest and rendition.
CPJ also said it has received an email statement from the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) confirming Interpol has played no role in Gobeze’s initial arrest in Djibouti and subsequent extradition to Ethiopia.
“Interpol has no information about Gobeze in its databases and isn’t empowered to arrest or extradite individuals,” CPJ stated about the emailed reply it received from Interpol.
Ethiopian authorities had claimed they had received help from Interpol in the initial manhunt and then subsequent arrest of Gobeze Sisay.
Last week, the Ethiopian Security and Intelligence Joint Taskforce (ESIJT) announced it has detained prominent independent journalist Gobeze Sisay.
In a statement, the ESIJT said Gobeze was among a list of 11 suspects wanted by security forces.
Gobeze an independent journalist who has previously worked for media outlets like Ethiopia Satellite TV (ESAT) and online media outlet, Yegna tv had recently co-founded another online based media outlet, the Voice of Amhara.
He is also one of the co-founders of the Ethiopia Mass Media Professionals Association (EMMPA), the biggest journalism association in the country bringing together state and private media journalists.
A relentless and brave chronicler of abuses ordinary Ethiopians have endured by state and non-state actors, Gobeze had previously been detained several times by security forces in the last one-year period.