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Three journalists detained for allegedly ‘promoting terrorism’

A freelance video journalist accredited to the Associated Press and two other local journalists have been detained in Ethiopia, according to police and the country’s media regulator.

Federal police accused the journalists in a statement late on Wednesday of “promoting terrorism” by interviewing members of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), which parliament has designated a terrorist group.

The AP reported that its freelancer, Amir Aman Kiyaro, was detained on November 28 under the country’s war-related state of emergency after returning home from a reporting trip. He has not been charged, the report said.

“These are baseless allegations. Kiyaro is an independent journalist who has done important work in Ethiopia on all sides of the conflict,” AP Executive Editor Julie Pace said in a statement. “We call on the Ethiopian government to release Kiyaro immediately.”

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The police statement identified the other detained journalists as independent cameraman Thomas Engida and Addisu Muluneh of the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting network.

Admasu Damtew, chief executive of Fana, declined to comment, saying Addisu’s arrest “doesn’t relate to us.” He did not elaborate.

The journalists could face seven to 15 years behind bars for violating Ethiopia’s state of emergency and anti-terrorism law, federal police Inspector Tesfaye Olani told state media. Reuters

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