Ethiopia - Alerts
Reeyot, a columnist for the independent weekly Feteh, was sentenced in January and fined 33,000 birrs (US$1,500) under Ethiopia's sweeping anti-terrorism law.
The government ordered that 30,000 copies of Feteh
newspaper be blocked for national security reasons after the paper reported that the prime minister had been hospitalised in Brussels.
A panel of judges sentenced Abdulsemed Mohammed to three and half years in prison but said he could go free owing to time already served.
Five other journalists were sentenced in absentia on terrorism charges and were given sentences ranging from 15 years to life imprisonment.
The law imposes prison sentences for offences related to the independent use of telecommunications tools and services, according to local journalists.
The country's only ISP has installed a system for blocking access to the Tor network, which lets users browse anonymously and access blocked sites.
Heinlein and Simegnish are reportedly being held at Maekelawi federal detention center in the capital, Addis Ababa.
"Website blocking is not new in Ethiopia, but a leading independent newspaper's site has never previously been affected," RSF noted.
IPI again condemns terrorism charges against journalists.
Amnesty International, ARTICLE 19, CIVICUS, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and Human Rights Watch call upon the Supreme Court to protect the rights of all human rights organisations to conduct their legitimate and essential work, including through unrestricted access to their funds.
Eskinder Nega will stand trial in March for all of the terrorism accusations initially advanced by prosecutors, a federal high court judge ruled.
The three journalists were charged in September with lending support to an underground network of banned opposition groups, which has been criminalized under the country's 2009 antiterrorism law.
Reyot Alemu, Wubshet Taye, and Elias Kifle could face the death penalty for calling for protest against the government in their writings.
Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were both sentenced to 11 years in jail after a court last week convicted them of entering the country illegally and supporting terrorism.
WiPC has serious concerns about the fairness of the trial, which has seen political interference in the proceedings and the use of fabricated evidence.
The managing editor of "Awramba Times" was forced to leave the country after he received a tip about alleged government plans to re-imprison him.
Two of the journalists, Eskinder Nega and Fasil Yenealem, were imprisoned on anti-state charges for coverage critical of the government's brutal repression of pro-democracy protests following the disputed 2005 election.
An Addis Ababa court has dropped a charge of "participating in terrorist activity" against Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye of the Kontinent news agency; the journalists continue to be tried on charges of "supporting a terrorist group" and "entering Ethiopia illegally".
Shortly after Sileshi Hagos and Eskinder Nega were arrested, state television portrayed them as "spies for foreign forces" and accused them of harboring links with the banned political group Ginbot 7.
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Argaw Ashine fled after police interrogated him and gave him 24 hours to reveal the identity of his government source or else face "unspecified consequences."