December 14, 2016
Ethiopian journalist Temesgen Desalegn
(AP) ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Human rights groups are asking Ethiopia’s government to immediately disclose the whereabouts of a popular local journalist who has been behind bars since October 2014.
The Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia and DefendDefenders on Wednesday called it “unacceptable” that the government was unwilling or unable to provide Temesgen Desalegn’s relatives with information after two years of detention.
The groups say Temesgen was jailed on “spurious charges.” The journalist is serving a three-year sentence on charges of defamation, incitement and false publication.
The public relations head of the Ethiopian Federal Prison Administration, Gizachew Mengiste, tells The Associated Press he has no information about Temesgen’s whereabouts.
Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in October amid massive anti-government protests, leading to the arrest of at least two journalists.