US Department of State press release on Zone 9 Bloggers Trial

us-state-department-logoPress Statement

Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 29, 2015
The United States is concerned by the Ethiopian Federal High Court’s January 28, 2015, decision to proceed with the trial of six bloggers and three independent journalists on charges under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. The decision undermines a free and open media environment—critical elements for credible and democratic elections, which Ethiopia will hold in May 2015.

We urge the Ethiopian government to ensure that the trial is fair, transparent, and in compliance with Ethiopia’s constitutional guarantees and international human rights obligations. We also urge the Ethiopian government to ensure that the trial is free of political influence and continues to be open to public observation.

The use of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in previous cases against journalists, activists, and opposition political figures raises serious questions about the implementation of the law and about the sanctity of Ethiopians’ constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fundamental elements of a democratic society. We call on the government of Ethiopia to support freedom of expression and freedom of the press to demonstrate its commitment to democracy as it approaches its May 2015 national elections.

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Posted by on January 30, 2015. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to US Department of State press release on Zone 9 Bloggers Trial

  1. T.Goshu

    January 30, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    January 30, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Fair Trial? Really ? What did the US government do about the “fair trial” of those innocent journalists languishing in notorious prisons of TPLF/EPRDF? Who continues feeding necessary aid and support to the tyrannical ruling elites in the name of developing democracy? It does not make sense to decry the misery of innocent journalist while providing the political criminals with the actual support they need to perpetuate their deadly political agenda and practice.
    Here we go !The most abused phrase ,”we are concerned”. They are throwing up this and all other very hypocritical or cynical sayings while they keep dancing with the ethno-centric and ruthless ruling elites of TPLF/EPRDF. But I do not think the people of Ethiopia could afford to tolerate this kind of political mockery any more.