In response to court proceedings in Ethiopia on May 17-18 against six members of the Zone Nine bloggers group and three independent journalists detained since April 25, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The assertion by Ethiopian police that authorities may now charge members of the Zone Nine bloggers group and three independent journalists with terrorism is deeply troubling, especially since authorities have in the past used the Antiterrorism Proclamation to clamp down on legitimate dissent,’ said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa Programs at Freedom House. ‘The court should not have extended custody of six of the detainees by another 28 days, especially since police have already detained them for three weeks while ‘investigations’ were conducted. “
“Ethiopia’s courts should uphold basic standards of due process and prevent any move to characterize the exercise of constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression as an act of terror,” Petrovic said.
Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom of the Press 2014 and Freedom on the Net 2013.
To learn more about Ethiopia, visit:
Ethiopia Seeks to Stifle Debate with Arrests of Journalists
Freedom in the World 2013: Ethiopia
Freedom of the Press 2013: Ethiopia
Freedom on the Net 2013: Ethiopia
Blog: Kerry’s Trip to Africa Sends the Wrong Message
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.