Ethiopia’s state-appointed human rights body demanded the release of 16 journalists and media personnel on Friday, following new arrests in the capital Addis Abeba and the restive Amhara region.
According to press watchdogs and human rights organisations, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is increasingly intimidating the media and harassing opponents as it seeks to quell regional unrest.
Recently, Ethiopian authorities have been particularly harsh in the Amhara and Oromiya regions. They justify arrests of journalists by accusing them of siding with insurgents.
Temesgen Desalegn of Feteh Magazine and Yayesew Shimelis of Ethio Forum Media were arrested on Thursday in Addis Abeba, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.
Last week, Amhara authorities arrested five Ashara journalists in connection with their coverage of the Fano volunteer militia.
On the same day, Amhara authorities arrested four more Nisir International Broadcasting employees based in the United States.