Ethiopia: Authorities in Tigray Release 3 Journalists, 2 Others Remain in Detention

Morning in Adigrat, Tigray, in Ethiopia (file image)

Nairobi — In response to news reports that authorities in the northern Ethiopian state of Tigray recently released three employees of the broadcaster Tigrai TV but continue to hold two more in custody, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement calling for the remaining staffers' release:

"While it is a great relief that authorities recently released three Ethiopian journalists imprisoned over their work with the broadcaster Tigrai TV, it is unacceptable that two of their colleagues remain behind bars," said CPJ's sub-Saharan Africa representative, Muthoki Mumo. "Authorities in Tigray should unconditionally release Hailemichael Gesesse and Dawit Mekonnen without delay and ensure that members of the media are not imprisoned for their work."

Authorities arrested five Tigrai TV employees - Hailemichael and Dawit, along with Haben Halefom, Misgena Seyoum, and Teshome Temalew - in May and June 2022, and accused them of "collaboration with the enemy," amid a civil war between the federal government and Tigray forces, as CPJ documented at the time.

The High Court in the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle acquitted and released Haben on December 5, 2022, and acquitted and released Misgena and Teshome on January 11, according to those news reports.

On January 12, the court adjourned Hailemichael's case to February 23, and Dawit's case to February 25, during which state witnesses are expected to make statements, those news reports said.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.