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News: Federal police arrests journalists allegedly promoting OLA operations in Western Shewa zone


(Left to right) : Thomas Engida , Addisu Muluneh, Amir Aman
Photo: Federal Police Commission

By Addis Standard Staff 

Addis Abeba, December 16, 2021- The federal police commission announced that it arrested Two journalists and a cameraman for allegedly promoting the Oromo Liberation Army, OLA) on an international level. “The journalists who were paid large sums of money to promote Shanee (a term used by government officials to refer to OLA) in the West Showa zone are being investigated under police custody,” the statement read, further describing that one of the journalist Associated Press while one of the journalists work for the state affiliated media, Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).  

According to the federal police, the Associated Press stafferr, Journalist Amir Aman, and cameraman Thomas Engida, alongside  Addisu Muluneh from FBC  traveled from Addis Abeba to the West Shewa zone to broadcast the activities of the OLA on the Associated Press. The Three suspects were allegedly conducting interviews and recording the military activities of the armed group and allegedly sending the compilation to the East African representative of the Associated Press, Khalid Kaziha who resides in Kenya, the statement read. 

The federal police argued that the Three suspects violated the state of emergency proclamations.“They were deliberately trying to amplify the false western media news that claiming the marching of OLA and TPLF to the capital,” the statement said, further accusing the suspects of attempting to wreak havoc by disseminating the footages, 

The Associated Press, on its part, issued a statement in response to the alleged arrest of its freelance video journalist, Amir Aman saying, “Officials with the Ethiopian Media Authority, the prime minister’s office, the foreign ministry and other government offices have not responded to repeated requests from the AP for information about him since his detention.” In the statement, AP’s Executive Editor Julie Pace demanded an immediate  release of Amir. “Associated Press is extremely concerned that AP freelancer Amir Aman Kiyaro has been detained by the Ethiopain government, accused of promoting terrorism. These are baseless allegations,” she stated. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), on the other hand, released a statement criticizing Ethiopia’s government for using the state of emergency law to intensify arrests of journalists. CPJ expressed its concern over the arrests of 14 journalists by Ethiopian authorities since the declaration of state of emergency on November 2. In connection with AP journalists’ arrest, CPJ quoted AP saying, “Amir was arrested after a reporting trip.”AS

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