Ethiopian journalist Temesgen Desalegn has been detained by security forces. He was arrested on Thursday morning.
Temesgen Desalegn runs a weekly Amharic language magazine by the name of Feteh (Justice). Feteh is a popular privately owned magazine. It was launched in 2008 and Temesgen Dsalegn was its chief editor. The magazine was critical of EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front ) government which ruled Ethiopia from 1991 till 2018. The magazine was once closed in 2012 by Ethiopian government authorities.
According to the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), from 2008 to 2011, the Ethiopian government filed 41 lawsuits against Desalegn. In 2013, Desalegn, in the Ethiopian Review, condemned state action against Eskinder Nega, another Ethiopian journalist and Human Rights activist calling the Ethiopian court system as “Meles Zenawi’s kangaroo court”.
From 2014 to 2017, Desalegn went to court many times and was imprisoned from 2014–2017. He was freed after three years of imprisonment in October 2017. But on 25 March 2018, he was arrested again. He was then admitted to hospital due to severe back pain.
His latest arrest seems to be linked to his criticism of Ethiopian federal and Amhara regional governments which recently launched a military operation against Amhara Fano miltia in the Amhara region. Read more..
Since the start of this operation, the government has arrested several journalists and community activists. CPJ, two days ago, reported the arrest of 11 journalists & media workers since last week. Most of those arrested had been critical of the government.
Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and US embassy in Ethiopia, last week, showed concern over mass arrest of journalists and activists in Ethiopia. In a statement, the government was urged to follow due process of law.
Temesgen Desalegn was detained from magazine’s office in capital Addis Ababa by plain clothed security officials at 11 am today. His family has not been intimated of his whereabouts so far.