Police arrest prominent journalist Temesgen Desalegn
|Police arrest prominent journalist Temesgen Desalegn
October 13, 2014
Temesgen spent the last two years in court, defending himself against 114 charges, including allegedly “a call for the overthrow the constitutional order by violence,” “defaming the government,” and “stirring public thoughts for an anti-government uprising .” The charges carry sentences from three to up to 17 years in prison. Temesgen faces sentencing on October 27.
Following the arrest of the Pen-Award-winning journalist Eskinder Nega in September 2011, Temesgen emerged as as a journalist known for his razor-sharp commentaries. He was the lone voice of the people for writing against the high handedness of the government of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. His writings ranged from the attacks on press freedom to widespread corruption and the dangers of ethnic politics which the government fuels relentlessly.
In April this year, Ethiopia arrested six bloggers and three journalists known as Zone 9. The group was charged with ‘terrorism’, and deploying ‘encryption tools’ to conceal ‘sources.’ They still remain behind bars.
Last August the government filed charges against five magazines, a newspaper and their publishers, for allegedly promoting “terrorism and radicalism.” Most of the editors and journalists have since fled the country for fear of arrest.