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News: Citing noncompliance with court orders by Fed. police, Awlo media shuts down operations, relieves all employees

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By Getahun Tsegaye @Getahun Tsegay12 & Mahlet Fasil @MahletFasil

Addis Abeba, October 30/2021 – In a statement released yesterday, Awlo Media announced the closure of the media house and the subsequent relief of all its employees. 

The statement explained that despite operating in the online media sector for the last 3 years after fulfilling all the legalities of the country, the federal government confiscated several of the company’s assets on June 30, 2021.

The statement furthermore went on accusing the federal government saying, “It [the government] completely shut down the work place; in an unjust manner, the organization’s employees were arrested, abducted and taken to Awash Arba.”

The statement went on to explain that despite a court order, ording the release of its employees, the return of both the company’s and its employees’ personal property, and the opening of the-sealed offices, no action was taken by the federal police commission accusing the commission of being ‘unresponsive’. 

“Despite Awlo Media’s efforts to continue the employment of its staff, all governmental institutions, including federal police, Ethiopian Media Authority and concerned officials  have unfortunately not been able to provide us with a solution. Therefore, the company has decided to relieve all its employees due to problems emanating from the federal government,” the statement read announcing the closure of the media house and the relief of its employees. 

Addis Standard spoke to Bekalu Alamrew, the Editor-in-Chief of the media house who said, “Since the arrest of our journalists and staff on June 30, 2021, our office was closed by federal police. We couldn’t carry out our jobs and that’s why we decided to shut down and relieve our employees. 

He added, “We have terminated the office lease contract but we could not return the license because the organization’s seal is still the federal police. The court ordered federal police to return our property but it is still in police custody, including the archive from our 3 years of work. The confiscated equipment is worth more than 2 million ETB. 

Bekalu said that such actions affected 11 employers and he intends to take the case to court. AS

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