US News Ethiopia / media: the human rights commission "concerned" by the arrests in Tigray

19:05  02 march  2021
19:05  02 march  2021 Source:   pressfrom.com

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Des véhicules militaires endommagés au bord de la route au nord de Mekele, capitale de la région du Tigray en Ethiopie le 26 février 2021 © EDUARDO SOTERAS Military vehicles damaged by the roadside north of Mekele, capital of the Tigray region in Ethiopia on February 26, 2021

The human rights body in Ethiopia said it was "concerned" on Tuesday by the recent arrests of journalists and translators in Tigray, a region where the army has been carrying out a military operation since November, urging the authorities to formulate "credible accusations" or to "release" them.

"While misinformation and disinformation are recurring challenges in this crisis, the arrest of journalists is a disproportionate response. Bring credible accusations or release them," wrote the head of the Ethiopian Rights Commission on Twitter. of man (EHRC), Daniel Bekele.

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The EHRC is an independent body affiliated with the government.

Several journalists or translators for foreign correspondents have been arrested since Saturday. Among them are Fitsum Berhane and Alula Akalu, who worked as translators for AFP and Financial Times journalists.

The two media had obtained permission from the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) and the Ministry of Peace to travel to Tigray, where media access has been severely restricted since hostilities began four months ago .

The Ethiopian authorities have not provided any explanation for the investigations targeting them.

AFP news director Phil Chetwynd on Monday called for the immediate release of Fitsum Berhane. "We are not aware of any specific charges against Fitsum Berhane, and his mere collaboration with a media could not be a reason for his arrest," he said.

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Two other journalists were arrested, one working for the BBC, Girmay Gebru, and a local journalist, Temrat Yemane.

All these arrests were carried out by soldiers, according to relatives of those arrested and witnesses present.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize 2019 Abiy Ahmed launched in early November 2020 a large-scale military operation against the dissident authorities of Tigray, from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), after accusing them of 'attacking federal army bases.

Mr Abiy proclaimed victory in late November after the capture of the regional capital Mekele, but fleeing authorities in the region have vowed to continue the fight and fighting has since been reported.

Reports of atrocities against civilians are increasing, including by soldiers from neighboring Eritrea who have joined forces with Mr. Abiy against the TPLF.

Authorities in Addis Ababa and Asmara officially deny that Eritrean troops are active in the region.

The Association of Foreign Correspondents of East Africa (FCAEA) called on Tuesday for the immediate release of journalists detained in Tigray.

"Targeting journalists and their associates ... seriously undermines the government's promise to open up to the press," the group said in a statement.

rcb / sva / fal / sba

Morocco. The historian Maati Monjib begins a hunger strike .
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This is interesting!