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Why Blogging is a Threat to the Ethiopian Government

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Governance, Human Rights, Media & Journalism, Politics

Beza Tesfaye explains [1] why blogging is a threat to the Ethiopian government following the arrests of nine Ethiopian bloggers:

As I write this, I am eerily reminded that in Ethiopia, expressing your views can get you a first class ticket to prison.

From April 25 to 26, 2014, nine Ethiopian bloggers and journalists were arrested. As we celebrated World Press Freedom Day on Saturday, they were being detained in Addis Ababa’s notorious central investigation office. Though charges have not officially been filed, the group is accused of “working with foreign human rights activists” and “using social media to destabilize the country”. If prosecuted under Ethiopia’s controversial Anti-Terrorism Law, they could face the death penalty.

The arrests are part of a disturbing trend in Ethiopia, which has frequently ranked as one of the most repressive places for press freedom in recent years.