4 April 2018

Ethiopia: Despite Promises of Release On Individual Bail, Rearrested Journalists, Bloggers and Opposition Politicians Remain in Police Custody

Despite signing on papers offering promises of individual bail on Monday, eleven individuals detained on March 25 remained in jail, families said.

The eleven individuals, including journalists Temesgen Desalegn and Eskendir Nega, were rearrested on Sunday March 25 during a lunch party organized by Temesgen's mother to celebrate the release his colleagues and friends. Others who were arrested with them included journalist Zelalem Workagegnehu, opposition politicians Andualem Aragie and Woynishet Molla. The list also includes bloggers and rights activists Mahlet Fantahun and Befekadu Hailu of the zone9 blogging collective, as well as Yidnekachew Addis, Sintayehu Chekol, Addisu Getaneh and Tefera Tesfaye.

On Monday this week the eleven were promised to be released by authorities at the Gotera police station, according to family members who are waiting at the police station. The paper they have signed on indicates that if individual detainees could guarantee bail to their co-detainees, they can be released accordingly. The detainees have signed on the papers providing to bail them, but still remained in police custody.

The families were previously told there were no authority which can claim the decision to rearrest the eleven, including the office of the command post, established to oversee the current state of emergency. Families says they are confused and don't know which authority to ask for clarifications. Some of the family members are still sitting outside the police station hoping to see the release of their loved ones.

ON March 30, journalist Temesgen Desalegn was admitted to Zewditu hospital due to sever back pain he developed during his jail time in recent past, according to family members. he was discharged after treatment was was taken back to the police station.

*****

In another development, 19 individuals who were detained in Bahir Dar were detained in Addis Abeba, were released today, according to journalist Belay Manaye.

Released!

Those 19 people who have been detained in Bahir Dar for 12 days are freed today. #Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/yoAh3vUGYf

- Belay manaye (@Belay_Ma) April 4, 2018

They were arrested in Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara regional state, on Sunday March 25. Among the them, Assistant professor Desalegn Chane of the Bahir Dar University, Temesgen Tessema, former Wello university lecturer-turned-lawyer, author Gashaw Mersha who is currently a practicing teacher in Addis Abeba, Belete Molla, associate professor at the philosophy department of the Addis Abeba university, journalist Nigatu Asres of the Amhara mass media agency and journalist Belete Kassa, former editor-in-chief of 'Yekelem Kend' newspaper. AS

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