NAIROBI — Ethiopian police launched Reuters cameraman Kumerra Gemechu on Tuesday after detaining him with out cost for 12 days.
Police had instructed his lawyer Melkamu Ogo that their strains of inquiry included accusations of disseminating false data, speaking with teams combating the federal government, and disturbing the general public’s peace and safety. Nonetheless, Mr. Melkamu mentioned he had seen no proof.
“We’re delighted that Kumerra has been launched and reunited together with his household. His launch at this time affirms he has executed nothing incorrect,” Stephen J. Adler, the editor in chief of Reuters, mentioned in an announcement.
“Kumerra is a journalist who has persistently demonstrated his professionalism and dedication to accuracy, as a part of a Reuters workforce that stories from Ethiopia in a good, unbiased and unbiased manner,” Mr. Adler mentioned.
The Ethiopian police and the prosecutor’s workplace didn’t reply to questions from Reuters on the explanations for Mr. Kumerra’s arrest and subsequent launch.
Mr. Kumerra, 38, has labored for Reuters for a decade.
His household mentioned they have been getting ready a particular meal and searching ahead to having him house for Christmas, which many Ethiopian Christians will rejoice on Thursday.
“We’re so relieved that Kumerra has been launched and wish to thank everybody who has supported us throughout this tough time,” the household mentioned in an announcement.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, has overseen sweeping reforms since taking workplace in 2018, together with a carry on the ban of greater than 250 media retailers and the discharge of dozens of journalists.
Nonetheless, rights teams say press freedom has eroded as the federal government confronted outbreaks of lethal violence together with combating between the navy and leaders within the northern area of Tigray, who’ve challenged the rule of Mr. Abiy, the prime minister.
Media watchdog teams reported the arrests of at the very least 12 different journalists in Ethiopia final 12 months, seven of them in November when the Tigray battle broke out.
Just one journalist was charged, for social media posts about Covid-19 that have been denounced by the well being ministry as false, in response to the New York-based Committee to Shield Journalists and Paris-based Reporters With out Borders.
Eight have since been launched and the remainder stay in custody, the 2 teams mentioned.