Press release

Ethiopia: Terrorism Charges Dismissed against ‘Zone 9’ Bloggers


In response to the decision of the Federal High court in Addis Ababa to drop terrorism charges against five members of the Zone 9 bloggers, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"Ethiopia’s court was right to dismiss these absurd charges against the bloggers but should throw out all the remaining accusations,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs. “One of the bloggers, Befeqadu Hailu, is now being charged with inciting violence, a wholly unfounded claim. The bloggers did not commit any crimes and were imprisoned for more than 500 days for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression. The government should release Befeqadu and the dozens of other journalists and human rights defenders jailed because of their work in defense of fundamental rights and freedoms in Ethiopia."

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015