IFJ Appeals for Release of Somali Journalist Jailed in Ethiopia
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has stated that the guilty verdict and prison sentence given to veteran Somali journalist, Mohamed Aweys Mudey, is unacceptable and appealed to Ethiopian authorities to quash his sentence and release him with immediate effect.
According to IFJ affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Mudey has been sentenced to 27 years in prison under Ethiopia's Anti-terror law. Ethiopian prosecutors reportedly accused him of having information on Al-Shabaab operations in Ethiopia and charged him for participating in terror activities.
The NUSOJ says he did not have a lawyer or family member with him during his trial, while at least three people detained with him at Ethiopia's Crimes Investigations Sector (CIS), saw him being badly tortured and having difficulties with walking.
"We are dismayed at this unbelievably severe ruling against the respected veteran journalist, Mohamed Aweys Mudey, who is not guilty of any crime," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "The charges against him are ludicrous and we urge the relevant authorities in Ethiopia to release him immediately and unconditionally."
"Ethiopia has the second highest number of journalists in jail in Africa after Erytrea and has been using its notorious anti-terror laws to silence journalists and undermine freedom of speech in the country - this disregard for the rights and freedoms of the media must end now. Such blatant disregard for human rights cannot be tolerated."