While Zone9 Bloggers are still defending their appeal, Blogger Eskinder Nega and Zelalem workagnehu are serving 17 years and 5 years in prison respectively. Today,another independent blogger and social media activists has been taken away by security Forces. Multiple social media Reports indicate that Seyoum Teshome has been taken away by security forces. He is a Lecturer at Ambo University Woliso Campus and head of Management Department and studied Management at Harameya University and MBA at Mekelle University. He writes on Pro government blog (Horn affairs) and on his own blog (EthioThinkthank)
|picture taken from his facebook|
#OromoProtest Riot in Waliso
“My attempts to reach him via his phone ended unsuccessfully,” said Befeqadu. Seyoum Teshome has been among the critical voice on social media. The Ethiopian government has intensified its crack down on critical voices using the infamous anti terrorism law. Online activists have been constantly blamed by the government for the ongoing anti-government protests across the country. It can be recalled that, On June 7, 2016, To intensify crack down on online activists the rubber stamp parliament has approved a new computer proclamation . Ethiopia is now carrying out a new wave crackdown. Yesterday Daughter of Bekele Gerba, Bontu Gerba was detained and released after security forces took 1000 copies of an upcoming book written by her father.
According to Girma Guterma (a social media activitst) his house has been searched and belongings has been confiscated. Seyoum's Whereabout is still Unkown. a recently released blogger pointed that due to the house search, its unlikely that he is simply detained for a shortwhile. he could be in makelawi where dissents are tortured
Ethiopia remain a hostile place for critical voices, despite calls from the united states and other affluent nations to give spaces and amend the anti-Terrorism law, the Ethiopian government has continued to muzzle Freedom of expression. Following the adoption of the anti-terrorism law and charity and society law. several civil society organizations have been closed and many journalists have been forced live in exile. Due to the absence of independent medias,social media has emerged to be the only platform to vent dissatisfaction and a platform to give a coverage about the ongoing political and Human right crisis in Ethiopia. Internet blockout had happened several times on the continuing struggle for Freedom mainly in Oromia and Amhara regions to limit the flow of information coming out from Ethiopia. The lawless state has made it tough for journalists from other countries to report, many Foreign News correspondents have been detained and released in the past few months only. On a recent Visit to Newyork, Prime minister hailemariam Desalegn addressing the UN Underscored that “Social media has certainly empowered populists and other extremists to exploit people’s genuine concerns and spread their message of hate and bigotry without any inhibition.” The prime minster is known for his odd and logically flawed comment about bloggers, activists and the political crisis in general.
Predictably, Pro government voices defended seyoum's arrest Interpreting his critical reflections as hate speech, Old and tired tactic used by Ethiopian government to silences Journalists, bloggers critical of the regime.
Ethiopia is ranked 142 in press freedom index, it remain not free based on the latest report of freedom house. According to CPJ, Ethiopia has the second highest number of jailed Journalists in Africa after Eritrea. For the past 6 years, since 2010, 60 Ethiopian journalists have fled into exile, together with the 30 in 2014 alone, according to Human right watch. Bloggers,journalists and any independent voices face serious harassment and threat of prosecution under the 2009 Anti- Terrorism law proclamation.