Ethiopian authorities in the Amhara region arrest four staff members of a media group | world news

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Authorities in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region arrested four employees of a U.S.-based online media outlet, while the fate of two others was unclear , the broadcaster said on Sunday in the latest round of arrests involving media.

The arrests would join those of five journalists from another Amhara outlet on Thursday over what their colleague said was the outlet’s reporting on the activity of a local volunteer militia, known as the Fano.

“We have four confirmed employees who are in prison and two unknown. Of the four, one (is) a full-time editor, one being recruited for an editor-in-chief position, a full-time journalist, a human resources and finance,” Nisir International Broadcasting’s management said in a message to Reuters on Sunday.

Nisir said three of the employees were arrested on Thursday and two were in custody in the regional capital, Bahir Dar. The third employee and a fourth who were arrested on Friday are in the town of Gayint, about 160 km (100 miles) from Bahir Dar, Nisir said.

Gizachew Muluneh, spokesman for the Amhara regional administration and spokesman for the Legesse Tulu government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Political cartoons about world leaders

Nisir markets itself as an unbiased and independent online media agency focusing on Ethiopian news, with particular attention to the Amhara region. He gave no reason for the arrests.

Amhara is Ethiopia’s second most populous region and a key constituency for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. But recently, some Amhara leaders who previously supported his government have publicly criticized his handling of a war with neighboring Tigray region.

Amhara forces and the Fano militia backed Abiy’s federal troops against rebel forces in northern Tigray when fighting broke out there in 2020.

Critics say Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize after taking office as a reformer in 2018, is suppressing dissent around Ethiopia. He says he guarantees stability and law and order in the multi-ethnic nation.

These arrests come on top of those of a prominent general critical of Abiy and some ethnic Amhara activists last week.

(Reporting by Addis Ababa Newsroom; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

About Deborah Wilson

Check Also

Gravity Media Capture History at Pho3nix SUB7 SUB8 Triathlon

Gravity Media has teamed up with Mana Sports and Entertainment Group to capture the story, …