“No detention for work as a journalist” –GCAO

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Addis Ababa, 13 May 2014 (WIC) – Ethiopia had not detained anyone for his/her work as a journalist, Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) Minister, Redwan Hussein, said.

Redwan’s comment came in connection with Ethiopia’s detention of 6 individuals – part of a group called Zone 9 and other three journalists attempting to incite violence.

“The three journalists were detained not because of their work as journalists but they were found engaging in unlawful activities under the pretext of a journalist,” he said.

“If journalists make crime, they will be questioned by law like any other individuals. There is no law that gives protection for journalists even if they commit crime,” he said.

Hence, the journalists were not detained for their work as journalists or for what they wrote criticizing the government but they were found committing crime, he said.

“There are many journalists in Ethiopian engaged in criticizing politicians, the federal system and democratic institutions but we didn’t arrest them as far as they did not convert their writing in to action,” he said.

The remaining 6 detained individuals are political activists who were found in illegal activities through funding from foreign NGOs keen to create havoc in the country, he said.