Kerry raises detained Ethiopian bloggers with PM

2014-05-02 10:09
Secretary of State John Kerry. (Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)

Secretary of State John Kerry. (Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - US Secretary of State John Kerry said he had raised concerns about Ethiopia's detention of six bloggers and three journalists during a meeting with the country's prime minister on Thursday.

The bloggers - part of a group called Zone 9 that has published articles and appeals criticising government policies - and the local journalists were arrested last week and accused with attempting to incite violence.

Rights groups have taken to Twitter and other websites calling for their release and accused the government of trying to silence critics.

Addis Ababa has said the charges relate to "serious criminal activities" and have nothing to do with muzzling the media.

Kerry, whose government is a major donor to Ethiopia, said he raised the arrests during meetings with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom in Addis Ababa, where he kicked off an African tour.

He said he met one of the bloggers - Natnael Feleke - during a visit last year and brought up his case on Thursday.

"When I raised him by name in my comments today I am raising a very legitimate concern. We are concerned about any imprisoned journalist, here or anywhere else," said Kerry.

Anti-terrorism proclamation  

"We believe that it is very important that the full measure of the constitution be implemented and that we should not use the anti-terrorism proclamations as mechanisms to be able to curb the free exchange of ideas," he told a news conference.

Critics say Ethiopia - sandwiched between volatile Somalia and Sudan - regularly uses security concerns as an excuse to stifle dissent and clamp down on media freedoms.

They also point to an anti-terrorism law, passed in 2009, which stipulates that anyone caught publishing information that could incite readers to commit acts of "terrorism" can be jailed for between 10 and 20 years.

The Horn of Africa country says the law aims to prevent attacks by separatist rebel movements and armed groups.

The journalists and bloggers made their first appearance in court in Addis Ababa on Sunday and the case was adjourned until 7 and 8 May.

Kerry is also due to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola on his trip which the State Department says will promote democracy and human rights.
Read more on:    john kerry  |  ethiopia  |  east africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.