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Countdown to WPFD 2014: IFJ Open Letter Helps Prompt Kerry Action in Ethiopia

02 May 2014

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has welcomed the news that U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, raised his concerns about Ethiopia's detention of six bloggers and three journalists during a meeting with the country's prime minister yesterday, Thursday 1 May.

On Wednesday 30 April, the day before Kerry’s visit, the IFJ sent an open letter urging him to raise the ordeal of the imprisoned journalists and bloggers with Ethiopian authorities during his visit to the country.

According to media reports, Kerry said he raised the arrests during meetings with Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, and Foreign Minister, Tedros Adhanom, in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, where he kicked off an African tour.

The three journalists and six bloggers were arrested last Friday, 25 April, and Saturday, 26 April. They are accused of using social media to create instability in the country and collaborating with international human rights organisations. They are being held in the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector ‘Maikelawi’ and made their first appearance in court in Addis Ababa last Sunday, 27 April. The case was adjourned until May 7 and 8.

Read more on www.ifj.org