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US Wants Journalists Detained in Ethiopia Set Free

Ethiopia map
Ethiopia map

The United States has urged Ethiopia to free all journalists detained by the state and stop using its controversial anti-terror law to silence dissent.

National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday the U.S. is "deeply concerned by the recent arrests of other journalists in Ethiopia." He urged "the Ethiopian government to release journalists and all others imprisoned for exercising their right to free expression."

In October, Washington welcomed the release of a group of dissident bloggers and journalists, but on Wednesday the White House warned Ethiopia against new arrests.

Price said Washington "has consistently applauded Ethiopia for being a model and a voice for development in Africa." But he cautioned Addis Ababa that "such gains must rest on a foundation of democratic governance and respect for human rights if they are to be sustainable."

Price did not name the reporters the United States is concerned about, but he spoke amid a harsh Ethiopian crackdown on dissent.

On Saturday, Human Rights Watch reported that Ethiopian security forces had killed at least 75 demonstrators during weeks of regional anti-government protests.

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