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CPJ: Ethiopian Leader Pledges Fair Trial for Jailed Journalists


A media advocacy group says Ethiopia's prime minister has pledged a fair and proper trial for reporters facing treason and genocide charges.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says Prime Minister Meles Zenawi made the pledge Thursday during a two-hour meeting with CPJ members in Addis Ababa.

The New York-based group says its delegation also spoke to imprisoned journalists for an hour, and inspected the living conditions of one journalist,Serkalem Fassil who is pregnant. It reports that all of the journalists said they are innocent of the charges.

Ethiopia's government has faced strong international criticism for a crackdown on the press that began after anti-government riots in November.

The CPJ says a total of 14 journalists have been jailed and are facing the treason and genocide charges.

Five journalists who work for Voice of America in Washington have also been charged, but are not in Ethiopian custody.

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