Spokesperson on Decision in Eskinder Nega’s Appeal Case

U.S. Department of State - Washington, D.C.

The United States is deeply disappointed that Ethiopia’s Federal Supreme Court upheld the conviction and harsh sentencing of journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition politician Andualem Arege under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the penal code. Today’s decision further reinforces our serious concerns about Ethiopia’s politicized prosecution of those critical of the government and ruling party, including under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and that this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media – a universal right that is also enshrined in Ethiopia’s constitution.

The United States believes that upholding freedoms of expression, association, and other human rights is essential if Ethiopia is to realize its stated goal of being a democratic state. We continue to urge the release of those who have been imprisoned in Ethiopia for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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