(Ethiopia: UA 255/16)
(Amnesty International) — Zone 9 blogger Befeqadu Hailu was arbitrarily arrested and is being detained due to his open criticism of the Ethiopian government during a media interview. He should be immediately and unconditionally released.
Security officers arrested prominent Zone 9 blogger Befeqadu Hailu from his home on 11 November at 6: 30 am local time. The police told Befeqadu Hailu during interrogation that he is being detained for criticizing the state of emergency the Ethiopian Government declared on 9 October during an interview with Voice of America (VOA) Amharic service on 30 October. He is being detained at a Police Station near CMC in Addis Ababa. According to the state of emergency currently in place in Ethiopia, Befeqadu Hailu will not be able to challenge the legality of his detention. His Twitter and Facebook accounts were deactivated after his arrest.
In the past, Befeqadu Hailu and others have suffered torture and other ill treatment while in pre-trial detention at Maekelawi Prison. Amnesty International believes that Befeqadu Hailu is at risk of torture and other ill treatment while in detention.
Amnesty International considers Befeqadu Hailu a prisoner of conscience arrested and detained solely for exercising his freedom of expression. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
Calling on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Befeqadu Hailu;
Calling on them to ensure that pending Befeqadu Hailu’s release, he is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment;
Urging them to ensure that he is given access to his lawyer.
Contact these two officials by 27 December, 2016:
FDRE Prime Minister
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251 11 122 6292
Salutation: Your Excellency
Ambassador Girma Birru
Embassy of Ethiopia
3506 International Drive, NW, Washington DC 20008
T: 202 364 1200 | F: 202 587 0195
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
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