By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Ethiopian Media Professionals Association (EMPA) requested the government to release immediately the media professionals it has detained without any legal procedure. Ethiopian Insider reported here today, 14 April 2023, quoting EMPA as saying that the government should stop harassing the media professionals.
The Association requested in its statement that the context the media professional working on has become narrower. EMPA disclosed that journalists have been harassed by government security forces not to work freely.
EMPA said that six journalists, including Dawit Begashaw, founder and executive member of EMPA, have been detained currently. Aragaw Sisay, Genet Asmamaw, Getinet Ashagre, Beyene Welde and Tewodros Asfaw were among the detained journalists, according to Ethiopia Insider.
The Association said that it has a firm belief journalists should be requested by law upon committing mistakes in their activities, and rules of law must be respected. However, it expressed concern that provisions stipulated in the proclamations have not been observed well.
The provision states that when any individual is under suspicion of committing a criminal act through mass media, the prosecutor should bring the case before court without putting the suspect behind the bar. Ethiopian Insider said that families of some of the detainees have no adequate information regarding the conditions of the arrested journalists.
The fact that the journalists are detained without a court warrant, kidnapped and have their houses and offices searched, has made them unable to do their activities freely and narrowed the press context, according to EMPA.
Therefore, the Association said that it firmly denounced such acts and called on the government to pay proper respect to the constitutional and international rules and ensure the press law.
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