Eskinder Nega is an Ethiopian journalist and human rights activist.
Eskinder has been subjected to outrageous injustices. He was sentenced to 18 years in jail for writing articles calling for freedom of expression and an end to torture in Ethiopia.
Sadly, this is not the first time that Eskinder has been jailed for his activism. Eskinder and his wife, Serkalem, a newspaper publisher, were previously jailed for speaking out against the government in 2005 and released in 2007 after continued campaigning by Amnesty International.
His previous arrest came after the Ethiopian government ordered a violent crackdown on post-election protests in 2005. Security forces reportedly killed nearly two hundred people. Eskinder and Serkalem wrote and published articles criticizing the government’s actions. For this, they were both arrested and put in prison.Their son, Nafkot, was born in that prison.
For Eskinder, this was one more brutal act of oppression in a life spent being hounded by his government for defending human rights. Few families have sacrificed more for their people.
In recent years, the Ethiopian government has clamped down alarmingly on its citizens for speaking out. According to Serkalem, “freedom of expression and press freedoms are at their lowest point.” Now the regime has enacted a “terrorism” law that they use to silence anybody critical of them.
They used these laws to threaten Eskinder. To ban him from writing. To force Serkalem to stop publishing. To terrorize their family and threaten Eskinder with the death penalty.
And now – to arrest Eskinder alongside many other prominent journalists.
Amnesty International believes Eskinder Nega is a prisoner of conscience detailed solely for his peaceful and legitimate activities as a journalist. Join our call for his immediate release.
Human Rights in Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, the authorities routinely use criminal charges and accusations of terrorism to silence dissenters. Repression of freedom of expression has increased alarmingly in recent years. The Ethiopian government has systematically taken steps to crush dissent in the country by jailing opposition members and journalists, firing on unarmed protesters, and using state resources to undermine political opposition. More than a hundred other Ethiopians, including nine journalists, were charged under the antiterrorism law. About 150 Ethiopian journalists live in exile — more than from any other country in the world.
Use this form to add your name to Amnesty’s call for the Ethiopian government to immediately and unconditionally release Eskinder Nega from prison.
What else you can do
Write a letter
Write a polite letter in your words directly to Ethiopia urging the release of Eskinder. In your letter you can address some of the following points:
Release Eskinder Nega immediately and unconditionally on the grounds that he is a prisoner of conscience
Reunite his family and allow him to return to his work as a journalist
Until he is free he must be protected from torture and other ill-treatment
He should also have regular access to his lawyer, family, and to any medical care he may require