Arrested Ethiopian journalist due to false news

Medihane Ekubamichael

The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Ethiopian authorities to immediately release broadcast journalist Bekalu Alamrew, who was arrested on November 7 and has not been formally charged.

Three uniformed police officers and one plain-clothed officer arrested Bekalu from the Addis Ababa offices of the privately-owned Awlo Media Center, where Bekalu is employed, according to the outlet’s managing director Woldegiorgis Teklay, who spoke with CPJ.

“Unfortunately, Bekalu Alamrew is only the latest Ethiopian journalist to be arrested on vague grounds and to be held by police without formal charges. This trend is a dangerous reversal of the early steps taken by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government to improve press freedom,” said CPJ Sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo. “Police should immediately release Bekalu Alamrew without charge and stop detaining journalists for their work.”

The officers also searched the offices and seized equipment including three laptops, Bekalu’s phone, a hard disk, notebooks and scripts, and a sound recorder, according to Woldegiorgis.