CPJ urges Ethiopia to drop charges against blogger

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on the Ethiopian authorities to drop an incitement charge against Zone 9 blogger, Atnafu Berhane.

In a statement made available to PANA, the press freedom watchdog said that prosecutors recently told a court that they had planned to drop the charge but the process was delayed by a paperwork error.

The judge presiding over the case later said that the case against Berhane would continue if prosecutors failed to present the updated paperwork to the court on 23 February.

“The Ethiopian authorities should end the legal case against Atnafu Berhane without delay, so that he can join Befekadu Hailu and Natnail Feleke, two other bloggers, in being free to report without the burden of fighting criminal charges linked to his work,” remarked CPJ Africa Programme Coordinator Angela Quintal.

“The authorities should also drop the charge against Elias Gebru and amend the country’s laws so that a free and diverse press can flourish.”

Meanwhile, CPJ disclosed that on 14 February, prosecutors announced that they had dropped incitement charges against the two other Zone 9 bloggers.

The charges were dropped the same week that authorities released jailed journalists Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye.

However, the press freedom watchdog said that one journalist, Elias Gebru, was still facing a charge of incitement and was due in court on 3 April.
-0- PANA MLJ/MA 17Feb2018

17 february 2018 11:10:14

xhtml CSS