Ethiopian jounalist Eskinder Nega (R), who was given an 18-year prison sentence in 2012 on accusations of links to the banned Ginbot 7 group, reacts with journalist Temesgen Desalegn (2nd R) and people after being released from Kaliti Prison in Addis Ababa on February 14, 2018.

Ethiopia released a jailed opposition leader and journalist on February 14 and dropped charges against a group of bloggers in a wave of prisoner releases and pardons. / AFP PHOTO / Yonas TADESSE

The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with 40 civil society organizations, yesterday sent a joint letter to Ethiopia’s prime minister-designate, Abiy Ahmed, urging him to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of recently arrested journalists, and human rights defenders.

All were detained without charge under Ethiopia’s latest state of emergency declared on February 16. Those arrested include journalists Eskinder Nega and Temesghen Desalegn, Zone 9 bloggers Mahlet Fantahun and Befekadu Hailu, blogger Zelalem Workagegnehu, and blogger and academic Seyoum Teshome.

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