REGIONS:

SUBSCRIBE:

Sign up for weekly updates

Ethiopia: Why release of journalists Darsema Sori & Khalid Mohammed does not signal end to press crackdown

A young man plays his radio during a wedding ceremony in Erer Valley, rural eastern Ethiopia, 8 February 2001
A young man plays his radio during a wedding ceremony in Erer Valley, rural eastern Ethiopia, 8 February 2001

Per-Anders Pettersson/ Getty Images

This is an excerpt of a 25 January 2018 CPJ Blog post by Muthoki Mumo/CPJ East Africa Correspondent and Jonathan Rozen/CPJ Africa.

On January 10, 2018 radio journalists Darsema Sori and Khalid Mohammed were released from prison after serving lengthy sentences related to their work at the Ethiopian faith-based station Radio Bilal. Despite their release and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's promise earlier this month to free political prisoners, Ethiopia's use of imprisonment, harassment, and surveillance means that the country continues to be a hostile environment for journalists.

Darsema, who featured in CPJ's Free the Press campaign, and Khalid were released after a supreme court ruling late last year reduced their sentences. Mustefa Shifa Suleyman, who acted as one of their lawyers, told CPJ that the journalists should have been released on the day of the court ruling, and that the delay was "not appropriate."

Like all of the journalists jailed in Ethiopia at the time of CPJ's 2017 prison census, Darsema and Khlaid were held on anti-state charges.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

Latest Tweet:

Turkey: Fourteen columnists and executives of 'Cumhuriyet' newspaper were convicted yesterday on the ludicrous char… https://t.co/B7jBNRcpMx