Free Jailed Journalist and Human Rights Activist Eskinder Nega
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Eskinder Nega is an Ethiopian journalist currently serving an 18-year sentence for criticizing the Ethiopian government’s abuse of anti-terrorism laws to silence journalists and human rights activists.. A strong critic of then Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Nega was arrested in 2011 following Government accusations of belonging to a banned opposition group and planning to destabilize the country through the use of terrorism acts. Nega was then convicted the following year of “participation in a terrorist organization” and “planning, preparation, conspiracy, incitement and attempt of (a) terrorist act.”
Amnesty International considers Nega as a prisoner of conscious, who, along with his wife Serkalem, has previously been jailed in 2005 and 2007 for speaking out against the Ethiopian Government’s restrictions on various freedoms as well as its brutal crackdown on protests following Ethiopia’s disputed 2005 elections in which security forces are reported to have killed almost two hundred people.
Muthoni Wanyeki, Regional Director of Amnesty International for East Africa has stated how his arrest further demonstrates the Ethiopian government’s flawed usage of its justice system to oppress dissent.
Amnesty International believes Eskinder Nega is a prisoner of conscience unjustly detained for his commitment to fighting for the respect for human rights and freedom of expression, speech and press in Ethiopia.
We call on UNHCR to re-open Eskinder's case
· the immediate and unconditional release of Eskinder Nega
· his protection from torture or any other mistreatment while still imprisoned
· that he be given access to his lawyer
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