Ethiopia: Media Crackdown Amid Military Offensive in Tigray Region

Ethiopians Journalists arrested From left: Medihane Ekubamichael, Bekalu Alamirew and Udi Mussa

Somalilandsun: The Ethiopian Government has launched a wave of arrests against journalists covering the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region. Since November 7, at least six journalists have been arrested on unknown charges.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the arbitrary arrest of media workers and urges the Ethiopian authorities to immediately stop the crackdown on media covering the military conflict.

Ethiopians fleeing intense fighting in their homeland of Tigray. Credits: EBRAHIM HAMID / AFP

Three journalists from the state-owned Ethiopia Press Agency (EPA) – Haftu Gebregzhiabher, Tsegaye Hadush and Abreha Hagos – were arrested along with Udi Mussa from the Oromia Media Network (OMN), Medihane Ekubamichael, editor from the Addis Standard and Bakalu Alamirew, of YouTube news channel Awlo media.

All of them were arrested following their reporting on the ongoing conflict in the Tigray Region, in the north of the Country, where the government is waging a military offensive.

The war on Ethiopia pits federal troops against Tigray’s TPLF militia

Tigray has been under a communications blackout since the military operation was launched on November 4, making it difficult to verify the situation on the ground as both sides make claims regarding casualties and advances.

The international community has expressed concern about the potential for a drawn-out conflict in Africa’s second most populous nation which is also affecting neighbouring Eritrea.

The IFJ calls on the Government of Abiy Ahmed to stop the crackdown on media, urges the authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all the arrested journalists and to guarantee a safe and free environment for journalists covering the conflict.

For more Information, please contact the IFJ – Africa Office

1st Floor, Maison de la Presse, 5 Rue X Corniche, Medina,

BP 64257, Dakar, Senegal

Tel: +221- 33 867 95 86/87; Fax: +221- 33 827 02

With internet and telephone disconnected newspaper are only source of the war in Tigray for ordinary Ethiopians