4 Ways You Can Join the #FreeZone9Bloggers Campaign

Zone 9 Tumblr Collage.

Zone 9 Tumblr Collage. Images selected from zoneniner.tumblr.com.

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. They have since been held in Maekelawi detention center with no access to legal counsel. They have not been allowed to see their families.

Since 2012, the Zone 9 blogging collective has worked to foster civic engagement and critical commentary about social and political issues in Ethiopia, alongside fellow journalists seeking similar results through newspaper work. Their arrest and detention constitute a violation of their universal human right to free expression, and their right not to be arbitrarily detained, as protected by Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Global Voices community and our network of friends and allies are demanding the release of the nine men and women.

Here are four ways that you or your organization can lend support to the campaign:


1. Send a letter: Write to your country's ambassador to Ethiopia or to the African Commission office in your country. Use one of these templates to get started. Deliver the letter by hand, like our friends in Uganda did.


2. Add your photo and message of support to the Free Zone 9 Tumblr


3. Sign the Global Voices Community Statement urging for the bloggers’ release


4. Spread the word! Talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about the campaign — share articles and links, work together on joint letters to policymakers, or plan a gathering.


Global Voices Coverage of Zone 9 Bloggers Case

Why Blogging is a Threat to the Ethiopian Government May 10, 2014

Advocates Ask African Commission, UN Experts to Intervene in Zone 9 Bloggers Case May 3, 2014

STATEMENT: Global Voices Calls for the Release of Nine Journalists in Ethiopia, May 2, 2014

Netizen Report: Ethiopia Cracks Down on Free Expression, April 30, 2014

Six Members of Blogging Collective Arrested in Ethiopia, April 25, 2014


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