Imagine being imprisoned for voicing a New Year’s Eve wish for peace and democracy.
That was one of the reasons Ethiopian authorities sentenced iconic dissident journalist Eskinder Nega to 18-years in prison on charges of terrorism and treason.
Eskinder is one of 10 urgent human rights cases highlighted in Amnesty International’s 2013 Write for Rights campaign, the world’s largest and most effective letter-writing event.
Every day that Eskinder and other journalists remain imprisoned, the dark cloud of oppression in his country grows more menacing.
Eskinder and his family have endured arrest and harassment from authorities for years. In 2006 and 2007, Eskinder and his wife, Serkalem Fasil, along with 129 other journalists, opposition politicians and activists, were detained and tried on treason charges in connection with protests following the 2005 election.
Serkalem gave birth to their son Nafkot while in prison.
Show solidarity with Eskinder and Serkalem – raise your voice to defend theirs.
The crackdown on free speech in Ethiopia has intensified since early 2011 – a number of journalists have been imprisoned on trumped-up charges of treason and terrorism while others have fled the country to avoid jail time. Newspapers have been closed down and last year, printers were ordered to remove any content that may be considered illegal by the government.
The independent media, and freedom of expression itself, has been dismantled in Ethiopia. Eskinder has been prosecuted at least 8 times for his journalism. His words have done no harm. His writings are a lawful expression of his human rights.
Campaigner, Individuals and Communities at Risk
Amnesty International USA