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Eskinder Nega, Ethiopian Journalist and WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom Laureate, Released from Jail

Eskinder Nega, Ethiopian Journalist and WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom Laureate, Released from Jail

Article ID:

21633

Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega, the 2014 WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom laureate, has reportedly been released from jail after serving seven years of an 18-year sentence as a convicted “terrorist” for challenging the very same laws used to imprison him.

Eskinder was one of more than 740 prisonners to have received a pardon by the Ethiopian state in a series of recent releases, according to reports.

Arrested in September 2011, Eskinder had been a vocal critic of the country's anti-terror laws and their seemingly indescriminate application, particualrly targeting opposition personalities and outspoken critics of the Ethiopian regime. He had also voiced concerns at how Arab Spring-like protests could easily errupt across the country if calls for reforms were left unheeded.

Nine months after his arrest, an Ethiopian court convicted him under the country's vague 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which has been used to imprison at least 12 journalists since 2011. Specifically, the government accused Eskinder of colluding with the outlawed opposition party Ginbot 7 in an attempt to overthrow the regime – charges he has rejected on numerous occasions.

Shortly before his release, it was reported that Eskinder had refused to sign a false confession detailing his membership of, and involvement with, Ginbot 7.


Read a full profile of Eskinder Nega, published ahead of his Golden Pen of Freedom award at the 2014 World News Media Congress, Torino.

Visit WAN-IFRA's dedicated 'Free Eskinder Nega' campaign page.

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2018-02-14 19:01

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Related nodes

Leaving was never an option. Even as his colleagues fled Ethiopia’s systematic jailing and constant harassment, journalist Eskinder Nega stayed behind to continue writing. There was simply too much to be done.

Author

WAN-IFRA's picture

WAN-IFRA

Date

2014-04-30 12:26

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2014-04-29 17:44

In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...