News / Africa

Ethiopia Releases Journalist, Drops Charges

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopian journalist Temesgen Desalegn was released from jail late Tuesday as all charges against him were dropped.
 
Editor-in-chief of Feteh newspaper, Temesgen was released after a week of imprisonment during which he was put in solitary confinement and denied bail because officials feared he was a flight risk.
 
However, the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice decided there were no grounds for his imprisonment and dropped all the charges against him, which included defamation, instigating the public to overthrow the government and using his newspaper to spread false information.
 
Temesgen says he doesn’t know why the government decided not to prosecute him, nor is he sure whether his paper will resume publishing.
 
“They simply took me out of prison," he said. "I asked them why the charges have been dropped, but they said nothing.”
 
The Feteh newspaper has been banned since July 20th. According to government officials, that week's publication issued "provoking" articles on Muslim protests in Addis Ababa, and on the health of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died last week.
 
According to Temesgen’s lawyer Mola Zegeya, charges against Feteh's publisher, who had been accused of inciting public violence, have also been dropped. The publisher, says Zegeya, still doesn’t feel comfortable with resuming publication of Feteh.
 
“I do expect that it is going to be published because the judge refused the [government's] request to stop the publishing of the paper," he said, explaining that he has been talking with the publisher.
 
Temesgen's release raises the question about whether Ethiopia is changing its policies concerning press freedom in the post-Meles era. Human rights groups say there is no freedom of the press in the country and often criticize Ethiopia’s government.
 
Temesgen also says he is not yet sure whether post-Meles Ethiopia will be different for journalists.
 
“It’s difficult to say something about that but hopefully there will be some change," he said. "But I will continue our work and keep writing.”
 
Several attempts to get a response from an Ethiopian government spokesman were unsuccessful.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: abdu idris from: libya
August 30, 2012 2:35 AM
dear ethiopians ,
Time has come for change especially with your sisiter neighbor country eritrea.


by: nega from: dc
August 29, 2012 4:09 PM
Typical game played by the west -
Ethiopian leaders are playing by the play book of the west.

..to look like the new leaders are good guys

Jokers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid