Monday, July 23, 2012

With Conviction of Eskinder Nega, Ethiopia Backslides Further

(July 20, 2012 | By Jillian C. York)--Last week, EFF was dismayed to learn that Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega had been sentenced to eighteen years in prison under a sweeping and overbroad Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.  More than one hundred other Ethiopians, including nine journalists, have been sentenced under the vague law.  In December 2011, two Swedish journalists were convicted on charges of supporting terrorism.

Nega's sentence has been roundly condemned by both the United States government and the United Nations, as well as a bevy of human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch.  We join these groups in condemning the sentences handed to Nega as well as five other bloggers, all of whom are living in exile.

A Dangerous Precedent
Back in June, we highlighted Ethiopia's censorship and surveillance practices. from the blocking of websites to the Telecom Service Infringement Law that, in addition to protecting the state service provider from the competition of VOiP services, also aims to harshly punish citizens for using or having in their possession any telecommunications equipment without prior permission from the government.

The latest convictions demonstrate the Ethiopian government's determination to restrict freedom of expression and association.  The use of anti-terrorism legislation to silence writers is a tactic seen elsewhere, including Turkey and Burundi, where just last month a journalist was sentenced to life under such legislation. Read the original article from EFF Mini Links (Weblog) »

Related topics:
Award-winning Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega jailed for 18 years  
CPJ condemns Eskinder Nega verdict in Ethiopia
Ethiopian blogger Eskinder Nega 'guilty of terror link'
Standing with Ethiopia's tenacious blogger, Eskinder Nega
Free Media Under Attack In Ethiopia
Journalists Live in Fear of 'Terror' Law 

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