Addis Abeba – Journalist Bekalu Alamirew of Alpha TV, YouTube online based independent media, is the latest journalist to have been detained by security forces, defense lawyer Tadele Gebremedihin told Addis Standard, adding Bekalu was taken between 3 and 4 PM local time today.
Bekalu’s wife, Helen Abate, also confirmed Bekalu’s detention in a phone call with Addis Standard.
The detention of Bekalu brings the number of known journalists, commentators and media practitioners detained in a week’s time to 18
According to Tadele, they went to see him at Sostegna police station in the capital Addis Abeba hoping that he could be there, but they ere told by the security at the station that they cannot provide any information until tomorrow morning.
The detention of Bekalu brings the number of known journalists, commentators and media practitioners detained in a week’s time to 18. This afternoon the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that the detention of journalist Temesgen Desalegn, Managing Editor of the Amharic Independent weekly Feteh Magazine, and Yayesew Shimelis of formerly Ethio Forum Media, brings the total of detained journalists and media personnel to 16.
The ongoing crackdown started with the detention last week of about a dozen ournalists and media personalities in a span of three days. The arrests were made in Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara region, and Addis Abeba.
Since EHRC’s statement, Addis Standard reported the detention of Sabontu Ahmed, a journalist at Finfinnee Integrated Broadcasting (FIB) on Thursday 26 May.
Journalist Bekalu was one of the 12 journalists from two online media platforms: Awlo Media and Ethio Forum, who was detained in June last year. The 12 journalists were all released after several months in detention. However, Awlo Media has since shut down after police failed to return its equipment confiscated when the staff, including Bekalu, were detained. Bekalu then went on to establish Alpha TV, where he is currently working at. AS