- Posted April 27, 2014 by
Six Ethiopian Bloggers And A Journalist Arrested In Widening Crackdown
Over the weekend, security apparatus in Ethiopia detained six opposition bloggers and social media-based activists, including a freelancer for local newspapers, in a move that caught many by surprise.
The indiscriminate detention of the bloggers, who work collectively in the blog called Zone-9, has prompted serious opposition and denunciation from social media users, friends of the imprisoned, and from a number of human rights activists and groups, including Amnesty International.
In a press release, Amnesty international, accuses Ethiopia over the mass arrest and demands the immediate release of the detainees unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal offence.
Social media users on Facebook and Twitter also show their support to the Zone -9 bloggers and the journalist and have been demanding their immediate release since the news of their arrest broke out on social media and several Ethiopian new websites.
On Twitter under the hastag #FreeZone9Bloggers many openly criticize the extent, and the manner in which, the government cracking down on the bloggers and a journalist who are known for advocating freedom of speech, democracy, rule of law, and the respect of the constitution. The condemnation even came from other Ethiopian social media activists and bloggers who usually known for their unwavering support to the ruling junta.
The mass arrest of the bloggers and the journalist came as the news of the Secretary of State John Kerry’s upcoming visit of 3 African countries announced.
Ironically, his mission, per the press release of the State Department, is to encourage democratic development, promote respect for human rights, advance peace and security, engage with civil society and young African leaders who will shape the continent’s future, and promote trade, investment and development partnerships in Africa.
Many wonder whether US policy on Africa, especially in Ethiopia is superficial?
In the mean time, a protest demonstration has called for Monday April 28, 2014 in Washington, DC in front of the State Department ahead of Secretary John Kerry’s scheduled visit to Ethiopia. Organizers demand Secretary of State John Kerry to make human rights and freedom of expression as one of his main topics of discussion during his stay in Addis Ababa.