Security forces arrest six bloggers and a journalist in latest crackdown on opposition voices.
These arrests appear to be yet another alarming round up of opposition or independent voices
All six bloggers were arrested at night by armed security forces and taken from their homes to the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector ‘Maikelawi’, where political prisoners are alleged to be held in pre-trial, and sometimes arbitrary detention.
The Zone 9 group who are said to be very critical of government policy and have a strong following on social media had temporarily suspended their activities earlier this year after accusing the government of harassing their members.
Simegnish Yekoye told Al Jazeera she was unaware of why the government had clamped down on journalists and their was growing fear on the future of a free press.
“I am very scared, I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” she said.
“The Ethiopian government is tightening its suffocating grip on freedom of expression in a major crackdown which has seen the arrest of numerous independent, critical and opposition voices over the last two days”, Claire Beston, Ethiopia researcher at Amnesty International, said.
Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reporting from Bahir Dar said it was unclear what will happen to the detained journalists.
“There are scores of journalists currently serving between 14 and 27 years in prison with some charged on terrorism offences.”