Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kerry raises detained Ethiopian bloggers with PM

02 May 2014, 10:50

Addis Ababa - US Secretary of State John Kerry said he had raised concerns about Ethiopia's detention of six bloggers and three journalists during a meeting with the country's prime minister on Thursday.

The bloggers - part of a group called Zone 9 that has published articles and appeals criticising government policies - and the local journalists were arrested last week and accused with attempting to incite violence.

Rights groups have taken to Twitter and other websites calling for their release and accused the government of trying to silence critics.

Addis Ababa has said the charges relate to "serious criminal activities" and have nothing to do with muzzling the media.

Kerry, whose government is a major donor to Ethiopia, said he raised the arrests during meetings with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom in Addis Ababa, where he kicked off an African tour.

He said he met one of the bloggers - Natnael Feleke - during a visit last year and brought up his case on Thursday.

"When I raised him by name in my comments today I am raising a very legitimate concern. We are concerned about any imprisoned journalist, here or anywhere else," said Kerry.

Anti-terrorism proclamation  

"We believe that it is very important that the full measure of the constitution be implemented and that we should not use the anti-terrorism proclamations as mechanisms to be able to curb the free exchange of ideas," he told a news conference.

Critics say Ethiopia - sandwiched between volatile Somalia and Sudan - regularly uses security concerns as an excuse to stifle dissent and clamp down on media freedoms.

They also point to an anti-terrorism law, passed in 2009, which stipulates that anyone caught publishing information that could incite readers to commit acts of "terrorism" can be jailed for between 10 and 20 years.

The Horn of Africa country says the law aims to prevent attacks by separatist rebel movements and armed groups.

The journalists and bloggers made their first appearance in court in Addis Ababa on Sunday and the case was adjourned until 7 and 8 May.

Kerry is also due to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola on his trip which the State Department says will promote democracy and human rights.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...