Eskinder Nega finally released!
The Ethiopian journalist and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Eskinder Nega was unconditionally released on February 14, as part of a government pardon of 746 prisoners.
Eskinder has been in jail for seven years. He was sentenced to 18 years in jail for writing articles calling for freedom of expression and an end to torture in Ethiopia.
Soon Eskinder and his wife, Serkalem, who was also previously jailed for speaking out against the government, will be enjoying their freedom along with their son, Nafkot who was born in prison.
Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:
“We are delighted that Eskinder Nega is finally free after close to seven years in jail on trumped up terrorism charges. We hope the release of this courageous journalist, along with hundreds of other prisoners, heralds a new dawn in the Ethiopian government’s handling of political dissent, a dawn of tolerance and respect for human rights."
Over 9,000 of Amnesty supporters signed a petition calling on his release and undoubtedly contributed to the pressure which resulted in his freedom.
Thank you to all those who took action!
At the time of his arrest, Eskinder Nega was editor of the ‘Satanaw’ newspaper. He was arrested after publishing an article about the Arab Spring in which he asked whether a similar grassroots movement for democracy could take hold in Ethiopia.
Mr Nega was charged under the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation with providing support for terrorists and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He has been held in Addis Ababa’s infamous Kality prison where 8,000 inmates are held in cramped, dilapidated and poorly-ventilated cells.
Take your activism further!
Our work don’t stop here, we must keep raising our voices for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience.