Prominent Ethiopian journalist harassed in jail



Serkalem, Nafkot and Eskinder

ESAT News (September 29, 2016)


Harassment against award-winning Ethiopian journalist, Eskinder Nega, who is serving an 18-year sentence following trumped-up terrorism charges, has continued unabated.


An inmate released recently disclosed to ESAT that prison officials have confiscated notebooks and other materials, including his bible, from the journalist and destroyed his personal belongings.  


The former inmate said prison authorities, who have recently searched Eskinder’s cell, have taken his luggages, throwing away his clothes. The source said the authorities did not give any explanation to the journalist as to their actions and his belongings were not returned to Eskinder at the time he left the prison.


Eskinder, who has served 5 of his 18 years sentence, is a recipient of awards from Pen America and Human Rights Watch, among others.


The prisoner of conscience was jailed with his wife, who gave birth to their child while in prison 11 years ago. Serkalem Fasil was released later and now live in exile in the United States with their son Nafkot Eskinder. Eskinder and other opposition political leaders were thrown back to jail five years ago on bogus terrorism charges.


“Eskinder Nega, who is writing for freedom of expression in Ethiopia, is among  those individuals in the world demonstrating a brand of moral courage that we need now more than ever,” US Secretary of State, John Kerry said in a statement at the release of a U.S. report on Human Rights in 2014.


Eskinder is a recipient of several international awards including from Pen Ethiopia and Human Rights Watch.