Amnesty International welcomes Ethiopian journalist’s release

By Benjamin Jumbe

Amnesty International has welcome the news of the release of Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega saying it must lead to freedom for all prisoners of conscience.

This is after news broke yesterday that Nega would be among 746 prisoners released as part of a government pardon.

Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes says it is wonderful news that this brave journalist will soon walk to freedom after seven years in jail simply for doing his job.

She however says the world must not lose sight of the thousands of other people still languishing in jail on trumped up and politically-motivated terrorism charges, including Bekele Gerba, Addisu Bulala, Woubshet Taye.

At the time of his arrest, Eskinder was editor of the Satanaw newspaper.

He was arrested after publishing an article about the Arab Spring in which he asked whether a similar grassroots movement for democracy could take hold in Ethiopia.
He was charged under the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation with providing support for terrorists and sentenced to 18 years in prison.