Target: Ethiopian Minister of Justice, Berhanu Hailu
Goal: Release imprisoned journalist who was wrongfully convicted of terrorism
Recently, a journalist in Ethiopia was sentenced to 18 years in prison for reporting on the activities of the Ethiopian government. Eskinder Nega is one of many journalists in the country who have been arrested on charges of terrorism. Eskinder’s appeal has been denied and delayed, and he remains in prison without a chance to read his own defense to the court. Eskinder’s case is one of many that shows a silencing of journalists in Ethiopia.
Eskinder has been a journalist for over 20 years, and has been jailed nine times for his words. After the government revoked his journalism license, Eskinder turned to the internet to express his views on the Ethiopian government. Eskinder is aware of the risks of speaking out against the government, yet continues to use his right of free speech. His brave actions have earned him a long prison sentence without the chance to speak in his own defense.
This case shows that the Ethiopian government is denying its citizens free speech. Eskinder’s outspoken blog is critical of the government, but this is not a terrorist act. The court assigned to his appeals case has delayed the case because it recognizes the faults of the government. According to a defense lawyer for another journalist in Eskinder’s position, ‘As they scrutinized our ground of appeal they found so many legal and factual irregularities. Therefore, before the ruling passes, that means before our appeal is accepted or approved, they wanted to summon the prosecution officers to come and justify.’
The Ethiopian government should not deny its citizens the right to free speech. Demand Eskinder Nega be freed from his wrongful imprisonment and allowed to write freely.
Recently, Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega was imprisoned for his blog posts criticizing the Ethiopian government. Eskinder’s journalism has been called a terrorist act. His appeals have been delayed, which means his wrongful imprisonment continues, as he is not given a chance to speak in his own defense.
I ask you to free Eskinder Nega from prison. He has been unjustly silenced by the Ethiopian government because of his articles. His journalism is not a terrorist act, but an act protected by the right of free speech. Free Eskinder and allow him to continue to write freely.
[Your Name Here]