Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Two Imprisoned Journalists Continue to Be Detained in Run-Up to Elections

RSF has voiced concern that, with general elections due to take place in just two months, on 15 May 2005, two journalists, Shiferraw Insermu and Dhabassa Wakjira, continue to be detained. Insermu and Wakjira, journalists for the Oromo-language service of the state-owned Ethiopian Television (ETV), are accused of having links with an Oromo separatist group.

"As Ethiopians get ready to vote, two journalists continue to languish in a prison where cases of torture and mistreatment are regularly reported by international organisations," RSF said.

"Ethiopia is violating the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights just a few kilometres away from the African Union's Addis Ababa headquarters," the organisation added. "Whatever the charges against them, these two journalists have rights, which have clearly been denied by authorities who have defied the federal High Court's decisions. Under Ethiopian law, Insermu and Wakjira should be released immediately. The circumstances under which they were thrown in prison leads us to suspect that there is absolutely no basis for the charge of terrorism that has been brought against them."


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