Journalist Eskinder Nega wins PEN Canada One Humanity award

Eskinder_Nega_5.fwThe Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega will receive PEN Canada’s One Humanity Award on the opening night of the 36th International Festival of Authors (IFOA 36). The award, valued at $5,000, is presented at PEN’s annual gala to a writer whose work transcends the boundaries of national divides and inspires connections across cultures.

Mr. Nega, an independent journalist, was arrested in September 2011 under the provisions of Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation for criticizing the detention of a prominent government critic, and disputing the government’s assertion that detained journalists were terror suspects. At his trial the judge reportedly accused Nega of using “the guise of freedom” to “attempt to incite violence and overthrow the constitutional order” through a popular revolt similar to those of the Arab Spring.

Convicted on June 27, 2012, Nega was sentenced to 18 years in prison. In December 2012 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said the sentence violated free expression and due process rights under international law. The UN group called for his immediate release. On May 2, 2013, the Ethiopian Federal Supreme Court upheld both the conviction and the sentence.

Nega is one of eight journalists and bloggers currently jailed in Ethiopia under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, according to PEN International’s case list. Six others were released in July 2015 after being held for periods ranging from 16 months to four years under the same legislation.

Since its 2010 UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Ethiopia has repeatedly used its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to arbitrarily arrest, prosecute, and imprison independent journalists and opposition activists. Ahead of Ethiopia’s 2014 UPR, a shadow report by PEN International and the Committee to Protect Journalists found the Proclamation overbroad and inconsistent with international law. The use of the Anti-Terror Proclamation to stifle the independent media has been condemned both by regional human rights bodies and the UN.

The Ethiopian government has arbitrarily imposed restrictions on the distribution of broadcast and print licenses, the content and editorial position of news outlets, the freedom of movement of journalists, the accreditation of international journalists, and domestic access to international broadcasts and Internet content.

Since 1992, government pressure has forced at least 75 independent publications, overwhelmingly from the Amharic language press, to close. Although a large number of private publications continue to operate, less than a handful of publications cover politics with a critical perspective. A high number of journalists have fled the country as a result of government persecution.

PEN Canada is a nonpartisan organization of writers that works with others to defend freedom of expression as a basic human right at home and abroad. PEN Canada promotes literature, fights censorship, helps free persecuted writers from prison, and assists writers living in exile in Canada.


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Posted by on October 20, 2015. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Journalist Eskinder Nega wins PEN Canada One Humanity award

  1. Chisegna Chikun Gebar

    October 21, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    It is very sad that many so called returnees from Diaspora Ethiopians that are looting the country are roaming free in Ethiiopia while Eskinder Nega is left bto rot. in prison.

    Lately many so called returnees from Diaspora Ethiopians business people are being found responsible for the fueling of illegal corruption and money laundering from Ethiopia leaving most Ethiopians in poverty eventhough the country’s economy is experiencing record level economic growth.

    Diasporas are urged to report any suspected illegal activities by calling the telephone number for the federal commission at Tips-off +251115527781 / +251115527774 / +251115529100(Ex 232) or reporting online by going to the the link below

    Eventhough the economy is growing the majority of Ethiopians are loosing their financial security to corrupt diaspora businessmen. Diaspora returnee busineemen are responsible for the looting the human labor force for little to nothing compensation with undafe work environment lotting other natural resources for little to no prices only to benefit their profits in foreign bank accounts .that is why the Commission urges official to prevent corruption

    (FEACC, Addis Ababa)- The Commissioner of the Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission of Ethiopia (FEACC) on 18 September 2015 urged government officials to effectively prevent and combat corruption and improprieties in their respective offices.

    Speaking in press conference on the annual performance of the commission in his office, the commissioner stressed the need for preventing corruption in each and every public office through the active participation of the employees and the leadership of the officials.

    According to the commissioner, raising public awareness on the threats of corruption was vitally important. The commissioner said that the FEACC offered Ethical and Anti-corruption education for thouthends of Ethiopians in budget year.

    The commission also reviewed 83 working procedures in different public offices and enterprises and put forward corrective measures. By doing so, the commission managed to protect 645,015,929 Birr from being stolen through corruption.

    The commission also mentioned that the FEACC registered the assets of more than 95,000 elected persons, appointees and civil servants.

    The commission also received 3038 reports of corruption from whistleblowers. The FEACC pressed charges against 434 suspects and 374 of them were convicted, raising the convicted rate to 86.2%.