Birthday Wishes for Imprisoned Journalist Tesfalem Woldeyes
Famous Ethiopian journalist Tesfalem Woldeyes turned 31 today, 3 December 2014 in an Ethiopian prison. His colleagues and friends said he is anxious and depressed.
Woldeyes and other members of Zone Nine, group of bloggers & journalists were arrested in the afternoon of 25 April 2014. The arrest comes immediately once the bloggers and journalists notified the general public through social media their return to their usual activism on April 23, 2014 after their inactivity for seven months. One of their reasons for their disappearance from activism is the harassment they have been receiving from government security agents.
Wishing Tesfalem Woldeyes a Happy Birthday and expressing solidarity with him while he is in prison on fabricated charges, Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) calls on Ethiopian government to immediately and unconditionally release Woldeyes, thus ensuring that he does not see another birthday in prison.
“We urge Ethiopian government to bring about his immediate and unconditional release for his birthday” said Dr. Muheldin Ahmed Idris, EAJA President. “We further call on them to cease punishing journalists like Tesfalem Woldeyes for their journalism activities, and allow them to continue their media activities unimpeded and without further prosecutions.”
Having known him personally, EAJA Secretary General, Omar Faruk Osman, said, “Tesfalem Woldeyes is detained for being a dedicated, professional, passionate, and independent journalist. He was not afraid of talking about oppression against Ethiopian journalists”.
EAJA reiterates its call to the Government of Ethiopia to free all 17 journalists and bloggers who are currently imprisoned for practicing their fundamental right to freedom of expression.