STATEMENT: Global Voices Calls for the Release of Nine Journalists in Ethiopia

Zone 9 bloggers in Addis Ababa. Photo by Endalk, used with permission.

Zone 9 bloggers in Addis Ababa, all arrested on April 25. Photo by Endalk, used with permission.

The Global Voices community calls for the release of nine journalists arrested in Ethiopia.

Befeqadu Hailu, Abel Wabela, Atnaf Berahane, Mahlet Fantahun, Zelalem Kibret, and Natnael Feleke (all members of the Zone 9 blogging collective) and journalists Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, Tesfalem Waldyes and Edom Kassaye were arrested on April 25 and 26, 2014 in Addis Ababa. We are particularly saddened that four Global Voices translators — Hailu, Wabela, Kassaye and Kibret — are among those detained.

Since 2012, the Zone 9 blogging collective has worked to foster civic engagement and critical commentary about social and political issues in Ethiopia. Despite difficult conditions, they have exercised their right to free expression in the interest of promoting peaceful dialogue and debate.

Global Voices is a community bloggers, activists, writers, and translators from 137 countries. The universal human right to free expression is fundamental to our mission: to tell underreported stories from around the world and defend the rights of everyone to speak freely and without fear. We are outraged by this flagrant violation of our friends’ rights to free expression and deeply concerned for their safety. We cannot remain silent.

Blogging is not a crime. On May 3 — World Press Freedom Day — we as a community demand that Ethiopian authorities release our blogger colleagues and friends, and all other jailed journalists in Ethiopia.


If you wish to associate your name or organization with this statement, please click here and add it to our spreadsheet. 



  • Ya. R.

    Ethiopia is reaching a critical point with the dispute over Badme and Nile Dam.
    Most wars start with dispute.

    Ethiopia had dispute regarding Eritrea having it’s own currency Nakfa and
    Eritrea government opening a bank in Addis Ababa Popolare right next to
    the Ethioipian Commercial Bank’s Kirkos branch just before the
    Ethio-Eritrean war broke out in 1998.

    The dispute with Egypt smells like a potentially badme all over again for Ethiopians. Bloggers do not help mobilize Ethiopians for defense strategy.

  • […] Step 1: Sign the Global Voices letter here […]

  • […] Sign the Global Voices Community Statement urging for the bloggers’ […]

  • […] Sign the Global Voices Community Statement urging for the bloggers’ […]

  • […] Voices Advocacy · 译者 GV 中文化小组 · 阅读原文 en · 则留言 (0) 分享: HEMiDEMi MyShare Shouker twitter facebook […]

  • […] 温饱与民主正如“全球之声倡议项目”的一篇文章指出,埃塞俄比亚打压互联网言论的做法非常奇怪,因为这个国家61%成年人文盲,互联网的渗透率只有1.5%,言论又怎可能对政权构成实质威胁?所谓“与外国人权份子合作”的博客与记者,他们只在言论的层次,对政府的一套只重视温饱的发展观提出异议,他们认为非洲贫穷国家把人民描述成只追求温饱的一群本身,是内化殖民者对非洲的刻板印象,非洲人民亦有权享有民主和法治,但当权者却指这些人被西方观念“洗脑”。“与外国势力合作”、“温饱权”、“制造不稳定”这些概念,我们都很熟悉吧!同一串话语,在不同的地区,发挥同一样的效果,协助专权者摧毁一切求变的声音。在香港,廿三条尚未立法,主流媒体自我审查靠边站,支持民主的《主场新闻》突然结束,网络反对力量失去了一个平台。我们的言论和新闻自由与中国大陆、埃塞俄比亚等专权越拉越近,可能在不久的将来,我们也要向外求救,呼吁释放我们的博客与记者。 […]

  • […] their arrest, Global Voices Online released a statement calling for their release, invited supporters to join the #FreeZone9Bloggers campaign through […]

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Digital Rights news from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up for weekly global internet censorship news!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

No thanks, show me the site