Ethiopia Releases Five Journalists Detained on Terrorism Charges

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The Ethiopian authorities have released two bloggers and three journalists arrested and detained on terrorism-related charges since April 2014.

The release came barely two weeks to US president, Barack Obama’s, planned visit to the country and few days before the UN-organized Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which started in Addis Ababa on July 13, 2015.

One of the freed journalists, Ms Reeyot Alemu is a critical columnist convicted in 2011 of “participating in a terrorist organization and preparing a terrorist act. She was sentenced in 2012 to 14 years in prison on terrorism charges which later was reduced to five years on appeal. She was a columnist for the now-closed national weekly Fitih.

Ethiopia comes after Eritrea as the second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, it has at least 12 journalists still languishing in its prisons.