Cases in Ethiopia

 

 

 

 

Andualem Aragie Walle is a prominent opposition politician currently serving a life sentence in Ethiopia for terrorism charges. Prior to his arrest, Mr. Aragie served as the Vice President and Press Secretary for Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), the largest opposition party in Ethiopia, as well as on the executive committee of Medrek, the largest opposition coalition in Ethiopia. Freedom Now serves as international pro bono counsel for Mr. Aragie and advocates for the release of his six imprisoned co-defendants. He was pardoned on February 8, 2018 and released on February 14.

 

Eskinder Nega is a prominent Ethiopian journalist who was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison on treason and terrorism charges. Prior his current detention, Mr. Nega was a widely published independent journalist and a well-known critic of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government; as a result of his writings, the Ethiopian government has detained Mr. Nega at least eight times since 1993. He was pardoned on February 8, 2018 and released on February 14.

Yonatan Tesfaye is an Ethiopian opposition politician sentenced to six years and six months in prison on terrorism-related charges for a series of Facebook posts he made criticizing the government. He was one of many opposition politicians caught in the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on civil society following the Oromo protests that began in November 2015. Tesfaye was released from prison on March 5, 2018.

 

In April 2014, six bloggers associated with the online group called “Zone 9” were arrested and charged with violations of the country’s much-criticized Anti-Terror Proclamation. Detained along with the Zone 9 Bloggers were three journalists who were socially connected to the bloggers. The nine individuals were held without trial for over a year before they were released in two batches in July and October 2015.

Selected documents from Cases in Ethiopia's case
Advocates Petition UN to Intervene on Jailed Ethiopian Bloggers’ BehalfFebruary 16, 2015

Global Voices post by Patrick Griffith and Soleyana Gebremicheal detailing the Ethiopian government's use of the terrorism law to wrongfully imprison the Zone 9 bloggers.

Appeal to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' RightsOctober 17, 2013

Freedom Now and the Media Legal Defence Initiative announce that imprisoned Ethiopian journalists, Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu, are appealing their convictions and imprisonments under Ethiopia's anti-terror laws before the African Commission on Human and People's Rights.

Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the right to freedom of expressionAugust 30, 2013

AfricLaw blog post by Patrick Griffith on the Ethiopian government's use of the Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to punish free expression.

Kerry's Ethiopia OpportunityMay 15, 2013

Wall Street Journal op-ed by Martin Schibbye, a former prisoner of conscience in Ethiopia, and Freedom Now program attorney Patrick Griffith calling for US Secretary of State John Kerry to advocate for Eskinder Nega's release during his visit to Ethiopia.

Letter from 16 Members of the European ParliamentDecember 18, 2012

Calling for the release of Eskinder Nega.

Letter from 29 organizations to Prime Minister Hailemariam DesalegnOctober 11, 2012

Urging the Ethiopian Prime Minister to lift restrictions on civil society and media.

Letter from 41 organizations to Prime Minister Hailemariam DesalegnJuly 24, 2014

Calling for the release of imprisoned journalists and bloggers in Ethiopia.

Letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of ExpressionOctober 5, 2016

Letter from Freedom Now to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression on behalf of Mr. Nega.

Media Release: Ethiopian Bloggers Acquitted of Terrorism Charges, Three Released from PrisonOctober 19, 2015

Freedom Now statement on release of three Zone 9 bloggers

Media Release: Five Ethiopian Bloggers, Journalists Released from PrisonJuly 9, 2015

Freedom Now statement on release of five Zone 9 bloggers

Opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionApril 1, 2013

Finding Eskinder Nega's imprisonment in violation of international law and calling for his immediate release.

Opinion of the WGAD on the case of the Zone 9 bloggersApril 20, 2016

The WGAD found the detention of the Zone 9 bloggers to be arbitrary and called for the Ethiopian government to award compensation

Petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionJanuary 26, 2015

Submitted jointly by Freedom Now and the Ethiopian Human Rights Project.

Petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Eskinder NegaJuly 17, 2012

Submitted by Freedom Now on behalf of Eskinder Nega.

Prisoners of Conscience in EthiopiaMarch 30, 2013

Al Jazeera English op-ed by former Ethiopian prisoner of conscience Birtukan Mideksa condemning the Ethiopian government's use of broad anti-terrorism laws to prosecute independent journalists like Eskinder Nega.

Prominent Rights Groups Issue Letter to Secretary Kerry On Ethiopia CommentsApril 17, 2015

Human rights groups issued a letter to Secretary Kerry regarding statements made by Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman about elections in Ethiopia.

Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsSeptember 18, 2013

Freedom Now along with PEN International and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) submitted a report describing the Government of Ethiopia's persecution of journalists and violations of press freedom to be considered as part of the Universal Periodic Review of Ethiopia's human rights policies and practices.

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Opinion 60-2017September 25, 2017

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finds the Government of Ethiopia in violation of international law for the detention of Mr. Aragie.

UNWGAD Petition on Behalf of Andualem Aragie, et alJuly 22, 2016

Submitted by Freedom Now on behalf of Andualem Aragie, et al.