Ethiopian activists campaigning on social media for the release of prominent journalist Tamrat Negera
The Ethiopian government has started to release some who were arrested on alleged grounds of state of emergency. Among those are Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers who were arrested during Epiphany celebration in Woybela Mariam, in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, where three young men were killed when Oromia region police fired at a religious crowd that was on a solemn procession of the replica of the Ark of the Covenant.
However, there are still many, based on citizen reports on social media and Human Rights Commission reports, behind bars. One of them is the prominent journalist and Co-founder of Terara Network ( and former Addis Neger Newspaper team member), Tamerat Negera. He has been a staunch critic of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s policy and the ethnic based system in the country, which has been facilitating and fuelling ethnic based massacres in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, among others.
Tamrat was arrested in Addis Ababa in early December 2021 and then transferred to the Oromo region. Initially, his whereabouts was unknown for about a week.
Ethiopian activists are undertaking a social media campaign requesting for his release.
Director of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Daniel Bekele, has remarked on continued detentions of Ethiopians after state of emergency legislation was lifted about two days ago.
“The release of several detainees since yesterday [Wednesday] was a step in the right direction, but we remain concerned about the unlawful detentions after the lifting of the state of emergency and the unfair use of remand procedure for an extended detention. If government authorities have any credible case against state of emergency detainees, the cases should have already been brought to a court of law,” he said.
The State of Emergency was lifted early after debates in the parliament.
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