Ethiopia: Zelalem Workagegnehu’s appeal on 6 July

PEN has learned that blogger Zelalem Workagegnehu’s appeal against his sentence of five years and two months in prison on terrorism charges will be heard on 6 July 2016. Detained since July 2014, Workagegnehu was found guilty on 15 April 2016 of violating article 7(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP), and sentenced on 10 May 2016.

PEN is deeply concerned by his sentencing as he appears to have been jailed for his peaceful activism on social media in violation of his right to freedom of expression, protected under both the Ethiopian Constitution (Article 29) and international human rights treaties to which Ethiopia is a state party, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. PEN calls on the Ethiopian authorities to accept his appeal and overturn his conviction and sentence.


Spread the word

Share details of Workagegnehu’s case with friends and colleagues and on Facebook, Twitter and other social media/

Send appeals to the Ethiopian authorities:

  • Expressing concern at the conviction and sentence imposed on Zelalem Workagegnehu on terrorism related charges and calling on the Ethiopian authorities to overturn his conviction at his appeal hearing on 6 July 2016;
  • Calling on the Ethiopian authorities to drop all charges against writers, journalists and others currently being held or under investigation solely for their peaceful exercise of freedom of expression;
  • Calling on the Ethiopian authorities to repeal or amend the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation so that it complies with Ethiopia’s obligations under international law regarding the freedom of opinion, expression and association;
  • Calling on the Ethiopian authorities to investigate all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and bring anyone found responsible for abuses to justice.

Send appeals to:

Ministry of Justice
c/o the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the UN
Rue de Moillebeau 56, Case postale 338, 1211 Genève 19, Switzerland
Tel. +41 22- 919 70 10, Fax +41 22 – 919 70 29
Salutation: Dear Minister

Dr Tedros Adhanom,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Kirkos, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 7345
Salutation: Dear Excellency

Please also send copies to the Embassy of Ethiopia in your country. You can find embassy addresses here.


About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

View all posts by Cat Lucas →

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