Ethiopian journalist jailed for talking to dissident

2017-05-26 16:48


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

Addis Ababa - Ethiopian journalist Getachew Shiferaw was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday for speaking to a dissident, capping a case that rights groups have called an assault on press freedom.

Getachew has been in jail since his arrest in December 2015, meaning he could be released from custody as soon as next week, his lawyer Ameha Mekonnen told AFP.

"He shouldn't be convicted at all," Ameha said.

Getachew was found guilty earlier this week of encouraging revolt for sending a Facebook message to an Ethiopian dissident who had been convicted in absentia of being involved with Ginbot 7, an Eritrea-linked opposition group which has called for the violent overthrow of the ruling party.

Ethiopia's government considers the outlawed group a terrorist organisation.

Rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said the charges were groundless and merely an excuse to put Getachew, who edited a newspaper linked to the opposition Blue Party, in jail.

"He was just exercising his constitutional right to freedom of expression," Belay Manaye, his deputy editor at the publication, said after the sentencing.

The decision by a court in the capital Addis Ababa comes the same week as a former spokesperson for the Blue Party Yonatan Tesfaye was sentenced to more than six years in prison for encouraging terrorism.

Both men were arrested shortly after anti-government protests began in 2015, which raged on for months until the government imposed a nationwide state of emergency last October.

The emergency declaration is scheduled to expire in July.

Read more on:    ethiopia  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.