Ethiopia’s ‘Zone 9 Bloggers’ Case: Harsh Treatment of Defendant – Freedom House

In response to reports that Abel Wabella, a defendant in the Zone 9 blogger case in Ethiopia, was kept shackled overnight and had his hearing aid removed following a February 4 court appearance, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The brutal treatment of Mr. Wabella by prison officials amounts to torture,” said Vukasin Petrovic, regional director for Africa. “Since their arrest in April, the Zone 9 bloggers and journalists have endured horrific treatment at the hands of the Ethiopian police and prison officials. At the very least, the court should investigate these cases of torture and hold those responsible accountable.”

Case Update:

On February 5 , the court rejected a petition submitted by the defendants to have the presiding judge removed from the case due to his alleged unbalanced handling of proceedings. The presiding judge did, however, announce that he would recuse himself of the case on his own accord. The defendants are now required to enter a plea with a new presiding judge on February 18.

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom of the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2014.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and Instagram. Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feedsnewsletter and our blog.

Share Button
Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any losses or damages that may have caused by using our services. EMF declines all responsibility for the contents of the materials stored by users. Each and every user is solely responsible for the posts.
Posted by on February 6, 2015. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to Ethiopia’s ‘Zone 9 Bloggers’ Case: Harsh Treatment of Defendant – Freedom House

  1. Zamu Tefera

    February 6, 2015 at 9:06 AM


    Six of these individual bloggers came from one tribe (TIGRE TRIBE), one ERITREAN and two from AMHARA tribe. Only one of them out nine graduated school. Four of them came from well to do family, the rest from lower economic class. One is engaged the rest we do not have no information about their marital status.

    • Markos abate

      April 10, 2015 at 9:34 AM

      Zamu Tefera
      where did you get this information? This’s a totally distorted and false information.Please don’t try to create a bad image about the zone nine bloggers.The world community already knows the fact…you trash mined.