Ethiopian journalist on fear of returning to prison – BBC Report


“I’m still scared that I might go back to prison” says journalist Tesfalem Waldyes
It’s never an easy decision: Should I interview someone who wants to talk in public, but who knows that a word out of line could mean arrest and imprisonment?
I’ve wrestled with the issue before in Myanmar, also known as Burma, Zimbabwe, Iraq and elsewhere.
Ethiopian journalist Tesfalem Waldyes sat in a hotel in Addis Ababa last weekend, and decided it was necessary to speak out.
“I’m afraid. I’m still scared that I might go back to prison… Maybe today, maybe this afternoon.
“[Journalism here] is a very dangerous job, because there’s this red line that was marked by the government, and we don’t know when we crossed that red line,” he said.
‘Totally absurd’
Last week Mr Tesfalem was unexpectedly released from a remand prison outside the capital, along with four colleagues.
He and eight other bloggers and journalists had been imprisoned for well over a year, facing trial under Ethiopian anti-terrorism legislation – accused of working with forces seeking to overthrow the state.

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