See also:
» 19.03.2011 - Ethiopia crackdown on opposition to prevent protests
» 07.10.2010 - Ethiopia urged to free all political prisoners
» 22.12.2009 - Five sentenced to death and 33 to life
» 17.12.2009 - Sweden minister speaks on freedom of expression in Ethiopia
» 08.12.2009 - RSF condemns closure of newspaper in Ethiopia
» 08.07.2009 - Amnesty International warns Ethiopia on new anti terrorism law
» 09.06.2009 - 32 alleged coup plotters charged in Ethiopia
» 26.05.2009 - Alleged coup plotters denied bail

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Human rights | Media

Editor jailed for misidentification of a judge

afrol News, 4 November - Ethiopian editor Tsion Girima faces one year in prison over alleged erroneous reporting, Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Mr Girma, editor-in-Chief of private weekly Enbilta who is being held in Kality prison, outside capital, Addis Ababa, is reported to have published a story on 3 October that mistakenly identified judge overseeing high-profile trial of Ethiopian pop musician Tewodros Kassahun as Judge Mohamed Amin instead of Judge Mohamed Umer.

She was charged under article 486 of the revised penal code.

"Enbilta did not write a correction but used the right name in the following edition," said lawyer, Kassahun Asefa.

CJP Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes said it is shocking that journalist can be convicted over reporting an error. "This conviction cannot stand. Ms Tsion Girma should not be sent to prison," said Mr Rhodes.

Mr Girma, Deputy Editor Habte Tadesse, and editor Atenafu Alemayehu were arrested on 22 October, the morning after reporting to police for questioning, CJP has said.

"Girma was released the next day on bail of 2,000 birr (US$200) and Tadesse and Alemayehu were released on 24 October without any charges," Girma said.

Enbilta is one of a few politically critical independent publications that still exist in Ethiopia after a government crackdown on independent press in the aftermath of 2005 elections.

Ethiopian authorities, well renowned for routinely using police detentions, threats, and legal and administrative restraints to censor reporting has been named world's worst backslider on press freedom in 2007 according to CPJ.

Mr Girma is second journalist to face criminal charges this year over coverage of Kassahun's trial. Editor Mesfin Negash of the leading weekly Addis Neger was sentenced to a one-month suspended prison term for publishing an interview with the singer's lawyer that was critical of the former judge overseeing the trial.

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