Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization has welcomed the call by John Kerry, U.S Secretary of State for immediate release of the arrested nine Ethiopian bloggers and journalists held in custody.
Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs at Freedom House who made this known yesterday also urged the United States and other governments to encourage Ethiopia to drop its heavy-handed tactics against those who advocate for citizens involvement in political processes and important national policy issues.
“Stability and further socioeconomic development of Ethiopia is impossible without respect for human rights and democratic reforms. In line with this, Secretary of State Kerry’s call for Ethiopia to respect the work of civil society is an important, first step toward pressing Ethiopia to respect human rights and democratic reforms,” Petrovic said.
The nine journalists and bloggers were arrested on April 25 and 26 by the Ethiopian authorities on allegations that they worked for foreign human rights groups or used social media to incite violence.