Eskinder rejects gov't demand to sign false confession, returns to prison
February 10, 2018
"Through this deplorable behavior the Ethiopian government is undermining any goodwill it might have generated by releasing an innocent man from prison," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal. "Ethiopian authorities should immediately release Eskinder Nega without condition."
At 11 a.m. local time, a prison official asked Eskinder to sign a form which falsely stated that he was a member of Ginbot 7, an organization that the government deems a terrorist group, Eskinder's wife, Serkalem Fasil, told CPJ. Eskinder refused and asked to see a more senior official. That request was not granted and the journalist was returned to his cell, his wife said.
Eskinder is serving an 18-year sentence on vague terrorism charges, according to CPJ research. The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention condemned his 2012 trial and conviction and said it was connected to his "peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression." The group found his arrest without warrant and prosecution was flawed, and the trial fell short of international standards of fairness.
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