ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopian police have arrested a blogger who criticized the government, especially its handling of the ongoing protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions.
Seyoum Teshome, an outspoken university lecturer who was frequently quoted by international media about the anti- government protests in Ethiopia, was detained on October 1 at his house in Wolisso town in the restive Oromia region.
Ethiopia’s government spokesman, Getachew Reda, told the AP on Tuesday morning that he heard about Seyoum’s arrest and is investigating the reasons why.
Days before his arrest, Seyoum told The Associated Press that he was planning to start his doctoral studies at Addis Ababa University and was starting up his own blogging website, Ethiothinkthank. He wrote about Ethiopia’s anti-government protests on his blogging site and Facebook page.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists criticized the arrest.
“This arrest of a prominent writer and commentator is deeply disturbing as it comes against a backdrop of government moves to stifle protests and criticism,” said Committee to Protect Journalists deputy director Robert Mahoney. “Seyoum Teshome should be released without delay and without condition.”
Ethiopia is the third worst jailer of journalists in Africa and a number of journalists are serving jail terms for writing critical pieces about the government, said the Committee to Protect Journalists.