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French Reporter Arrested in Ethiopia

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The French had a valid journalist visa. Photo by Egor Myznik @unsplash

French journalist, Antoine Galindo, who works for Africa Intelligence, was detained in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last Thursday, Feb. 22.

His arrest occurred while he was in the country to report on the African Union summit, for which he had a valid journalist visa. The news of his detention was announced by his employer, Indigo Publications, which stated that Galindo was taken by plainclothes security officers.

The Ethiopian government has not made any statements regarding Galindo’s arrest. However, a judge has reportedly extended his detention until March 1, accusing him of plotting to cause unrest in Ethiopia. Indigo Publications has denounced his arrest as unjust and a serious violation of press freedom, demanding his immediate release.

At the time of his arrest, Galindo was interviewing Bate Urgressa, a spokesperson for the Oromo Liberation Front, an opposition party, who has also been arrested.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) revealed that Galindo’s bail was denied, with police seeking to review his phone records and locate other suspects.

Ethiopia is highlighted by the CPJ as a challenging environment for journalists, with the country being among the top jailers of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa.

The situation reflects poorly on the freedom and civil rights of the press under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, despite his initial promises of reform. The government’s crackdown on journalists and dissent has been particularly noted during conflicts such as the Tigray War and the recent unrest in the Amhara region.

Currently, according to CPJ, at least eight Ethiopian journalists are imprisoned.

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