Awramba Times Editor in detention, CPJ claims

Toubshet Taye - Awramba Times

The Committee to Protect Journalists(CPJ) claimed Wubeshet Taye, deputy editor of the Amharic weekly Awramba Times, is in detention since Sunday.

In its press release on Tuesday, CPJ claimed, citing unnamed sources:

Police picked up Taye, deputy editor of the leading independent weekly Awramba Times, at his home in the capital, Addis Ababa, at 3 p.m. and confiscated several documents, cameras, CDs, and selected copies of Awramba Times, local journalists told CPJ. The newspaper covers politics in-depth.

Taye is being held incommunicado at the federal investigation center at Maekelawi Prisonin the capital, local journalists said.

However, Shemelis Kemal, State Minister of Government Communications Bureau, denied the matter when contacted by the CPJ. Acording to the Press Release,  Shemelis Kemal said: ‘ I’ll check but there are no journalist arrests, incarcerated in Ethiopia,…We have a law prohibiting pretrial detention of journalists. No arrest could be initiated on account of content.’

However, CPJ seems certain of Wubeshet’s detention, thus  urged for his immediate release.

[This news will be updated when government sources respond on the matter.]



Bloomberg’s reported on Jun 29, 2011, 8:16 PM GMT (that is 11:16 PM local time)

Ethiopian officials arrested nine people, including two journalists, on charges of terrorism, said Shimeles Kemal, state minister for communications.

They are accused of “organizing a terrorist structure to destroy, demolish and sabotage essential power and telecommunications infrastructure,” he said by phone today from Addis Ababa, the capital. The arrests took place last week. They have “nothing to do with viewpoints they have published,” said Shimeles.

The arrests “should be viewed as a strong measure by the government to protect freedom of speech,” since they are connected to alleged plots to destroy telecommunications infrastructure, he said. Two members of the opposition Ethiopian National Democratic Party were among those detained, Shimeles said.

Daniel Berhane

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