Ethiopian journalist illegally detained since Sunday – CPJ


(Awramba Times) The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on Ethiopian authorities today to immediately release journalist Woubshet Taye, who has been held since Sunday.

Police picked up Taye, deputy editor of the leading independent weekly Awramba Times, at his home in the capital, Addis Ababa, at 3 p.m. and confiscated several documents, cameras, CDs, and selected copies of Awramba Times, local journalists told CPJ. The newspaper covers politics in-depth.

Taye is being held incommunicado at the federal investigation center at Maekelawi Prison in the capital, local journalists said. In an interview with CPJ, Shemelis Kemal, a government spokesman, denied any journalists were in detention in the country. “I will check but there are no journalist arrests, incarcerated in Ethiopia,” he said. “We have a law prohibiting pretrial detention of journalists. No arrest could be initiated on account of content.”

Ethiopia’s press law prohibits pre-trial detention of journalists, but two journalists of the state-controlled national broadcaster have been held on vague criminal charges for over a year, while two Eritrean journalists have disappeared in government custody since 2006, according to CPJ research. Also, under the Ethiopian constitution, police must charge or release citizens within 48 hours.

“The detention of Woubshet Taye is unlawful,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. “We call on Ethiopian authorities to release him at once.”

Awramba Times Managing Editor Dawit Kebede, who was imprisoned for 21 months for critical coverage of a brutal government crackdown following disputed elections in 2005, has been the target of ongoing harassment by the Ethiopian administration and pro-government media outlets, according to CPJ research. Kebede won CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award in 2010 for his commitment to journalism despite the repression. The Amharic-language weekly was launched in 2008 after Kebede’s release on conditional pardon and is today the second-largest newspaper in circulation in Ethiopia, according to CPJ research.


5 thoughts on “Ethiopian journalist illegally detained since Sunday – CPJ

  1. Alemseged on

    Weyane follows a script frmula to assure its grip,accuse Ethiopians on make believe charges and subject them to inhuman treatment in one of the many weyane run prisons across Tigray,and possibly inside Hamassen.The country’s Majority Oromos and Amharas are occasional being singled out for this experiment is no secret.Two years ago weyane send the last remaining Amhara military officers to jail for what it termed”attempt overthrow of the regime”.The Oromos for their part are also a target by the vicious regime-reportedly thousends of Oromos are held up in various jails across the country.Weyane elite,Weyane elite mutiply your crime,do as you will for now.Surely, there will be a “day of recompence for every crime”.

  2. Anonymous on

    June 24, 201
    Tamper-Proof Internet Security System Begins
    By JOHN MARKOFF

    A small group of Internet security specialists gathered in Singapore this week to start up a global system to make e-mail and e-commerce more secure, end the proliferation of passwords and raise the bar significantly for Internet scam artists, spies and troublemakers. “It won’t matter where you are in the world or who you are in the world, you’re going to be able to authenticate everyone and everything,” said Dan Kaminsky, an independent network security researcher who is one of the engineers involved in the project. The Singapore event included an elaborate technical ceremony to create and then securely store numerical keys that will be kept in three hardened data centers there, in Zurich and in San Jose, Calif. The keys and data centers are working parts of a technology known as Secure DNS, or DNSSEC. DNS refers to the Domain Name System, which is a directory that connects names to numerical Internet addresses. Preliminary work on the security system had been going on for more than a year, but this was the first time the system went into operation, even though it is not quite complete. The three centers are fortresses made up of five layers of physical, electronic and cryptographic security, making it virtually impossible to tamper with the system. Four layers are active now. The fifth, a physical barrier, is being built inside the data center. The technology is viewed by many computer security specialists as a ray of hope amid the recent cascade of data thefts, attacks, disruptions and scandals, including break-ins at Citibank, Sony, Lockheed Martin, RSA Security and elsewhere. It allows users to communicate via the Internet with high confidence that the identity of the person or organization they are communicating with is not being spoofed or forged. Internet engineers like Mr. Kaminsky want to counteract three major deficiencies in today’s Internet. There is no mechanism for ensuring trust, the quality of software is uneven, and it is difficult to track down bad actors. One reason for these flaws is that from the 1960s through the 1980s the engineers who designed the network’s underlying technology were concerned about reliable, rather than secure, communications. That is starting to change with the introduction of Secure DNS by governments and other organizations. The event in Singapore capped a process that began more than a year ago and is expected to be complete after 300 so-called top-level domains have been digitally signed, around the end of the year. Before the Singapore event, 70 countries had adopted the technology, and 14 more were added as part of the event. While large countries are generally doing the technical work to include their own domains in the system, the consortium of Internet security specialists is helping smaller countries and organizations with the process. The United States government was initially divided over the technology. The Department of Homeland Security included the .gov domain early in 2009, while the Department of Commerce initially resisted including the .us domain because some large Internet corporations opposed the deployment of the technology, which is incompatible with some older security protocols. Internet security specialists said the new security protocol would initially affect Web traffic and e-mail. Most users should be mostly protected by the end of the year, but the effectiveness for a user depends on the participation of the government, Internet provider and organizations and businesses visited online. Eventually the system is expected to have a broad effect on all kinds of communications, including voice calls that travel over the Internet, known as voice-over-Internet protocol. “In the very long term it will be voice-over-IP that will benefit the most,” said Bill Woodcock, research director at the Packet Clearing House, a group based in Berkeley, Calif., that is assisting Icann, the Internet governance organization, in deploying Secure DNS. Secure DNS makes it possible to make phone calls over the Internet secure from eavesdropping and other kinds of snooping, he said. Security specialists are hopeful that the new Secure DNS system will enable a global authentication scheme that will be more impenetrable and less expensive than an earlier system of commercial digital certificates that proved vulnerable in a series of prominent compromises. The first notable case of a compromise of the digital certificates — electronic documents that establish a user’s credentials in business or other transactions on the Web — occurred a decade ago when VeriSign, a prominent vendor of the certificates, mistakenly issued two of them to a person who falsely claimed to represent Microsoft. Last year, the authors of the Stuxnet computer worm that was used to attack the Iranian uranium processing facility at Natanz were able to steal authentic digital certificates from Taiwanese technology companies. The certificates were used to help the worm evade digital defenses intended to block malware. In March, Comodo, a firm that markets digital certificates, said it had been attacked by a hacker based in Iran who was trying to use the stolen documents to masquerade as companies like Google, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo. “At some point the trust gets diluted, and it’s just not as good as it used to be,” said Rick Lamb, the manager of Icann’s Secure DNS program. The deployment of Secure DNS will significantly lower the cost of adding a layer of security, making it more likely that services built on the technology will be widely available, according to computer network security specialists. It will also potentially serve as a foundation technology for an ambitious United States government effort begun this spring to create a system to ensure “trusted identities” in cyberspace.

  3. Alemu on

    When ADDIS NEGER were the first news pape who won the heart of youth in addis.every collage students hand on saturday was hoding the news paper.AWRAMBA and fith are on the but the miss something.i do nt know what it is? but for as they gave as alot of nt only information but also idea.generaly EPRDF is nt interested and declar in his manifest he will distroy them as much as possible.so what do y expect?!

  4. tt7 on

    June 26, 2011
    My Syria, Awake Again After 40 Years
    By MOHAMMAD ALI ATASSI Beirut, Lebanon

    IN 2009, National Geographic published an article on Syria by a special correspondent, Don Belt, who had interviewed President Bashar al-Assad. In 2000, shortly after the funeral of his father, President Hafez al-Assad, the son entered his father’s office for only the second time in his life. His first visit had been at age 7, “running excitedly to tell his father about his first French lesson.” The president “remembers seeing a big bottle of cologne on a cabinet next to his father’s desk,” Mr. Belt wrote. “He was amazed to find it still there 27 years later, practically untouched.” The bottle can be seen as an allegory for Syria itself — the Syria that has been out of sight for the 40 years of the Assads’ rule, a country and its aspirations placed on a shelf and forgotten for decades in the name of stability. Now this other Syria is appearing before our eyes to remind us that it cannot be forever set aside, that its people did not spend the decades of the Assads’ rule asleep, and that they aspire, like all people, to live with freedom and dignity. I remember my father, Nureddin al-Atassi, who himself had been president of Syria before he was imprisoned in 1970 as a result of Gen. Hafez al-Assad’s coup against his comrades in the Baath Party. I was 3 years old then, and it took me a while to understand that prison was not only for criminals, but also for prisoners of conscience. My father would spend 22 years in a small cell in Al Mazza prison, without any charge or trial. We counted the days by the rhythm of our visits to him: one hour every two weeks. At the end of a struggle with cancer, for which he had been denied medical treatment, he was finally released. He died in Paris in December 1992, a week after arriving there on a stretcher. For the great majority of Syrians, the forgotten Syria meant a police state, a country governed with an iron fist. It meant a concerted international effort to keep a dictatorial regime in power in the name of regional stability — preserving the security of Israel and maintaining a cold peace on the Golan Heights, like the snow that covers Mount Hermon. The forgotten Syria meant thousands of political prisoners packed for decades inside the darkness of prisons and detention centers. It meant disappearances that left families without even a death certificate. It meant the tears of mothers and wives waiting since the 1980s for their sons and husbands to return, even if wrapped in a shroud. It meant daily humiliation, absolute silence and the ubiquity of fear. It meant networks of corruption and nepotism, a decaying bureaucracy and a security apparatus operating without control or accountability. It meant the marginalization of politics, the taming of the judiciary, the suffocation of civil society and the crushing of any opposition. A terrifying slogan, “Our Leader Forever Is President Hafez al-Assad,” emblazoned at the entrance to every city, and on public buildings, told Syrians that history ended at their country’s frontiers. History did not end, of course, and occasionally it peeked in on Syrian life. But the regime buried its head in the sand, living the delusion that it could keep history out — if only it abused its people enough. This happened in the 1980s, with the bloody massacres in Hama. It happened in the early 1990s, after the Soviet bloc collapsed while the Syrian regime kept its one-party state. It happened in 2000, with the death of Hafez al-Assad and the transfer of power through inheritance — as if the regime could defeat even the certainty of death. And it happened in the year that followed, when the Damascus Spring was buried alive, its most prominent activists arrested after they called for Syria and its new president to turn the page and proceed toward democracy. All through the past four decades, the regime refused to introduce any serious political reform. But meanwhile Syria witnessed great demographic, economic and social transformation. The population became larger and younger; today, more than half of all Syrians are not yet 20 years old. Enormous rural migration to the cities fueled a population explosion at the outskirts of Damascus and Aleppo. With unemployment widespread, wealth became concentrated more tightly in the hands of a small class of regime members and their cronies. Many Western diplomats and commentators expressed doubts that the Syrian people might one day rise up to demand their rights and freedoms. But those skeptics consistently understated the depth of resistance and dissent. It was no surprise that at the moment of truth, Syrians opened their hearts and minds to the winds of the Arab Spring — winds that blew down the wall that had stood between the Arabs and democracy, and had imposed false choices between stability and chaos or dictatorship and Islamic extremism. History did not leave behind that other, real Syria. Syria returns today to demand its stolen rights, to collect on its overdue bills. Compared to the other Arab uprisings, Syria’s has been perhaps the most arduous, considering the regime’s cruelty and the threat of civil war. At the same time, the people’s unity and their determination to remain peaceful will ultimately enable them to win their freedom and build their own democratic experience. Our exceptionally courageous people, their bare chests exposed to snipers’ bullets, understand the meaning of this freedom; it has already cost them dearly, in the lives of their sons and daughters. In his interview with National Geographic, Bashar al-Assad did not say what he had done with the big bottle of cologne. It’s a moot point. The regime’s response, and President Assad’s last three speeches, indicate that no one in the presidential palace, not even the president, can move the glass bottle of despotism that has held Syria’s future captive. My own father governed Syria for four years, but I inherited from him neither power nor fortune. What I inherited was a small suitcase, sent to us from the prison after he died. It held literally all of his belongings after 22 years in confinement. All I remember from this suitcase today is the smell of the prison’s humidity that his clothes exuded when I opened it. The next time I visit my father’s grave, I will tell him that freedom is reviving again in Syria. I will reassure him that the Syrian people have finally succeeded in breaking this big bottle of cologne, that the scent of freedom has finally been dispersed, that it cannot be drowned by the smell of blood.

    Mohammad Ali Atassi is a journalist, filmmaker and human rights activist.

  5. tt7 on

    For the great majority of Syrians, the forgotten Syria meant a police state, a country governed with an iron fist. It meant a concerted international effort to keep a dictatorial regime in power in the name of regional stability — preserving the security of Israel and maintaining a cold peace on the Golan Heights, like the snow that covers Mount Hermon. The forgotten Syria meant thousands of political prisoners packed for decades inside the darkness of prisons and detention centers. It meant disappearances that left families without even a death certificate. It meant the tears of mothers and wives waiting since the 1980s for their sons and husbands to return, even if wrapped in a shroud. It meant daily humiliation, absolute silence and the ubiquity of fear. It meant networks of corruption and nepotism, a decaying bureaucracy and a security apparatus operating without control or accountability. It meant the marginalization of politics, the taming of the judiciary, the suffocation of civil society and the crushing of any opposition. A terrifying slogan, “Our Leader Forever Is President Hafez al-Assad,” emblazoned at the entrance to every city, and on public buildings, told Syrians that history ended at their country’s frontiers. History did not end, of course, and occasionally it peeked in on Syrian life. But the regime buried its head in the sand, living the delusion that it could keep history out — if only it abused its people enough. This happened in the 1980s, with the bloody massacres in Hama. It happened in the early 1990s, after the Soviet bloc collapsed while the Syrian regime kept its one-party state….

    Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king
    And then became one
    Well, except for the names and a few other changes
    If you talk about me, the story’s the same one

    – Neil Diamond in “I am… I said” lyric.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.