Free Press

Ethiopian Blogger Gets 18 Years for Criticizing Government

Somewhat thin-skinned regime

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Yesterday, the Ethiopian Supreme Court upheld the conviction and extreme sentence of award-winning online journalist Eskinder Nega, who now faces 18 years in prison.  Nega was arrested in September 2011 and charged with "terrorism" under a vague law in Ethiopia that has been used to target online journalists and political dissenters. His trial and appeal faced repeated delays, while international human rights and free expression groups continued to criticize his imprisonment and punishment. EFF, PEN America, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and others campaigned for his release, and a United Nations panel found his conviction to be in violation of international law.

Mohamed Keita of the Committee to Protect Journalists said in response to the Supreme Court's ruling "The persecution of Eskinder and other journalists is the hallmark of a regime fearful of the opinions of its citizens."

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