Journalist Anania Sorri is being held in a high security prison in Addis Ababa and has not yet been formally charged with any offense.

By Jason Burke (The Guardian) |

The wife of a blogger and journalist detained in Ethiopia has called on the international community to pressure local authorities to release her husband, who is among tens of thousands held since a state of emergency was declared in the emerging east African power last year.

Anania Sorri, a 34-year-old writer and intellectual, was arrested in November on his way to a meeting at the US embassy in Addis Ababa. He is being held in a high security prison in the Ethiopian capital and has not yet been formally charged with any offense.

Bezawit Hailegiorgis, 29, his wife, said his sole crime had been “to express his thoughts honestly”.

“His crime is his determination to speak out. He is a brilliant political journalist. He was critical but always constructive … but being imprisoned is part of the job description of being a journalist here. It’s a zero-sum game, where someone has to lose, and at the moment they are not losing,” she told the Guardian.

Human rights groups have criticized the failure of western powers to condemn Ethiopia’s recent crackdown, which followed a new wave of protests against the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition.

The US and UK see Ethiopia as a key stabilizing actor in east Africa and rarely criticize authorities there. Addis Ababa has long been viewed by both as an important partner in the fight against Islamic militancy in the volatile region. The EU increasingly sees Ethiopia as an important part of the European effort to reduce the flow of migrants from east Africa.

Bezawit Hailegiorgis said international pressure on the government would prove effective in her husband’s case. “I love my country … and I do understand that this is a sovereign country, but we all live in one system and the UK, the US and others do have leverage. Of course pressure would work,” she said.

Continue reading this story on The Guardian
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