Ethiopia Frees Journalist but Fear Remain
Kumera Gemechu, Ethiopian based Reuters photographer has been released from prison this evening. The 38 year old and father of three was dragged and imprisoned over the holiday season from his home placing Ethiopia once again among nations who is increasingly imprisoning journalists and to control public information.
It was almost two years ago Ethiopia was hailed as one with no journalists in prison highlighted by UNESCO that placed high hopes to the reform of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and held its annual celebration in Addis Ababa
Reuters, one of the most reputable and daring international media in Ethiopia has been constantly writing articles and interviewing politicians bringing it to the attention of authorities. In addition to Kumera, another of its journalists was beaten up last month, putting much vulnerability to the sector.
There has been a number of arrests in the last few months, including an Addis Standard editor who ended up catching COVID-19 while in prison and others. In the past, the nation was known for abusing journalists, imprisonment was wisdpread and some of the best journalists ended up leaving the country and ultimately were accused with terrorism charges in abstention.
Many of the leading private media were closed and what has transpired in Ethiopia seems to be a repeat of past misgivings that were investigated and highlighted by international organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.