A U.S. diplomat says Ethiopia should drop charges of treason against five Ethiopian-born journalists with the Voice of America.
Vicki Huddleston, the top U.S. envoy in Addis Ababa, says Ethiopian officials should speak directly to the U.S. government about any issues they have with VOA, rather than charging the journalists in court.
She said U.S. officials are very concerned about the indictment against the five journalists, who are U.S. government personnel.
The journalists (Nigussie Mengesha, Addisu Abebe, Tizita Belachew, Adanech Fesshaye, and Solomon Kifle) all work at VOA headquarters in Washington.
VOA Director David Jackson has said the charges are false and designed to intimidate VOA broadcasters.
Mr. Negussie Mengesha has said he and his colleagues reject the charges, adding that VOA broadcasts to Ethiopia are objective and balanced.
The VOA journalists are among 129 people, including other journalists and Ethiopian opposition leaders who are facing charges of treason or genocide. The charges stem from deadly violence that occurred last year during protests over disputed elections.