The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the detentions last week of two government TV journalists on allegations of misusing state property.
Mohammed Keita of the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York, said his organization was concerned that the editor, Haileyesus Worku, and a reporter, Abdulsemed Mohammed, have not been formally charged since their arrests.
A magistrate today extended their detentions in Makelawi Prison for another week, pending further investigations by the Ethiopian Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission, according to local journalists. The commission, which ordered their arrests, had requested an extension of 14 days.
The government claims the two journalists, who work for Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency, were caught “red-handed” smuggling property belonging to ERTA in an effort to sell government materials. Bereket Simon, principal advisor to the prime minister on communications issues, said, “It is not a press freedom issue, but a criminal issue.”
“We have documented numerous cases in which Ethiopian authorities imprisoned journalists on spurious criminal charges,” said Kieta.
Listen to the Amharic report.