Ethiopian Bloggers Allege Being Beaten in Detention

Zone Nine bloggers in Addis Ababa, all arrested on April 25. (Photograph credit: By Endalk/Global Voices)

Agence France-Presse

Updated: May 10, 2014

Addis Ababa: Three Ethiopian bloggers appeared in court on Thursday with two alleging they had been beaten while in detention, a case that has been condemned internationally as an assault on press freedom.

The three are part of a group of nine bloggers and journalists accused by police of “serious crimes”, with the other six having appeared in court a day earlier. Thursday’s hearing was held in closed session.

None have yet been charged, with police requesting more time to investigate their case.

“The detainees told the presiding judge that they were beaten by the police investigators under their feet and slapped and punched on their faces,” defence lawyer Amha Mekonen told AFP.

But she said the police had denied the claim, saying “no one had touched” the detainees.

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Related:
Ethiopia: It Is Very Simple – Respect the Constitution (Addis Standard Editorial)
Scholars at Risk ‘Gravely Concerned’ About University Lecturers Arrested in Ethiopia
UN human rights chief condemns crackdown on journalists in Ethiopia (UN News Center)
Global Voices Calls for the Release of Nine Journalists in Ethiopia (TADIAS)
Jailed Zone Nine Bloggers Spark Ethiopia Trend on Social Media (BBC)
Ethiopian Government Charges Journalists With Inciting Public Violence (VOA News)
Nine journalists and bloggers arrested in Ethiopia ahead of Kerry visit (The Guardian)
Six Members of Zone Nine Blogging Collective Arrested in Ethiopia (TADIAS)

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