Ethiopia releases prominent Zone 9 blogger and activist

Ethiopia releases prominent Zone 9 blogger and activist

Emmanuel Igunza
Ethiopia releases prominent Zone 9 blogger and activist
Befeqadu Hailu (top left) was previously arrested in April 2014 along with other Zone 9 bloggers

( BBC News) –Authorities in Ethiopia have released a prominent Ethiopian blogger and activist – Befeqadu Hailu – more than a month after he was arrested in the capital, Addis Ababa.

He was among thousands of people who were arrested by security agents during the ongoing state of emergency.

More that 10,000 people have been released over the last two days, but nearly the same number remain in custody without charge.

Mr Befeqadu is one of the reknowned group of anti-government critics known as the Zone 9 bloggers.

He was arrested at his house in November and has since been held in various police stations and detention camps.

No reason was given for his arrest but he has constantly condemned the government for its handling of widespread protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions.

Mr Befeqadu was previously arrested in April 2014, together with nine other bloggers and journalists, and was charged under the country’s controversial anti-terrorism laws.

The case was eventually thrown out after 18 months. But Mr Befeqadu and four others still have other pending cases from that time.

Ethiopia has seen an unprecedented wave of protests in two of its largest regions, with demonstrators demanding greater representation and civil liberties