The Federal Police Commission announced that they had arrested two journalists and a cameraman for allegedly promoting the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) on an international level. “Journalists who have been paid large sums of money to promote Shanee (a term used by government officials to refer to OLA) in the West Showa Zone are under police custody.” The statement said the statement further describes that one of the Associated Press journalists, while one of the journalists works for the state media, the Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
According to federal police, the employee is from Associated Press, journalist Amir Aman, and cinematographer Thomas Engida traveled with FBC’s Addisu Muluneh to the West Shewa Zone from Addis Ababa to broadcast OLA’s activities to the Associated Press. The three suspects allegedly conducted interviews and recorded the armed group’s military activities and allegedly mailed the compilation to the Kenyan East African Associated Press representative Khalid Kaziha, the statement said.
The Federal Police argued that the three suspects had violated the state of emergency wreaking havoc by distributing the footage.
For its part, the Associated Press issued a statement in response to the alleged arrest of its freelance video journalist Amir Aman: “Officials of the Ethiopian media agency, the Prime Minister’s Office, the State Department and other government agencies have not responded to repeated requests from the AP for information about him since his detention. ”In the statement, Julie Pace, editor-in-chief of AP, called for Amir’s immediate release. “The Associated Press is extremely concerned that AP freelancer Amir Aman Kiyaro has been arrested by the Ethiopian government on charges of promoting terrorism. Those are baseless accusations, ”she said.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), on the other hand, issued a statement criticizing the Ethiopian government for using the State of Emergency Act to intensify arrests of journalists. CPJ expressed concern about the arrests of 14 journalists by the Ethiopian authorities since the declaration of a state of emergency on November 2nd. In connection with the arrest of AP journalists, CPJ quoted AP as saying, “Amir was arrested after reporting.”