In response to reports that two journalists and two opposition party members have been arrested in Ethiopia on suspicion of terrorist offences, Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s deputy Africa director said today:
“The pretext of counter-terrorism being used to silence dissent, particularly among groups traditionally critical of the government such as political opposition parties and the private press is worrying.”
“The detainees must be granted full and prompt access to legal representatives and their families.”
Amnesty International also warned today that some of the detainees may be at risk of torture. The four are being held at Maikelawi – the Federal Police Crime Investigation and Forensic Department in Addis Ababa which is reported to be under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Service.
“Maikelawi is infamous for the frequent use of torture against pre-trial detainees,” said Michelle Kagari. “It is troubling that the vaguely defined provisions of the Anti-Terrorism legislation are being used to suppress legitimate freedom of expression in Ethiopia.”