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News: Fed. Police says arrested staff of Awlo media, Ethio Forum news outlet detained in Afar region

Left to right: Bekalu Alamrew, Yayesew Shimeles, Abebe Bayu, Fana Negash, Fanuel Kinfu and Meheret Gebrekirstos

By Mahlet Fasil @MahletFasil

Addis Abeba, July 27/2021 – Federal High Court, Lideta Branch, 9th instant bench ordered the federal police to bring the 14 detainees including journalists at Ethio-Forum, a Youtube based news outlet and Awlo media journalists and staffers.  The lawyers told Addis Standard that the police explained to the court that the detainees were transferred to a detention center in Afar region in response to the defense team filing Habeas corpus.  

Yesterday’s hearing took place  in the absence of the detainees. The police told the court that detainees were brought from Awash Arba to a district court in Fentale Woreda and are awaiting the next court appointment. The police accused them of enticing violence through social media platforms.  

The lawyers on their side explained to the court that they do not believe the explanation provided by the police. “The federal police told the family they were released.” they said. 

Federal security forces arrested staff members and journalists of Ethio-Forum and Awlo Media on June 30, July 1 and July 2, 2021. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued a statement discussing the arrest  “The Commission is gravely concerned that, as of the time of  publication of this statement [July 11, 2021], it is yet to see the said court order or visit the detainees and  that the detainees have not been granted visitation rights by their lawyer and/or their  families.” AS

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