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Rule of LawEthiopia

French journalist detained in Ethiopia, employer says

February 26, 2024

Ethiopian security forces detained a French journalist on suspicion of conspiring with two armed groups to incite unrest in Addis Ababa, an accusation that has been strongly denied by his employer and a rights group.

Ethiopia once used to be the world's most censored country
Ethiopia once used to be the world's most censored countryImage: Mulugeta Ayene/AP Photo/picture alliance

Ethiopian security services have detained a French journalist who was on a reporting assignment in the country, his employer said on Monday.

French national Antoine Galindo, a reporter for the Paris-based news website Africa Intelligence, was detained by security forces in civilian clothing on February 22, according to the publisher of the news website.

Indigo Publications group, the publisher of Africa Intelligence, called for the reporter's immediate release in a statement and said the journalist was detained on suspicion of "conspiracy to create chaos in Ethiopia."

Galindo's lawyer says detention extended 

Galindo appeared before a judge on February 24, on allegations of conspiring with two armed groups to incite unrest in the capital, Galindo's lawyer told the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization that works to uphold press freedom around the world. 

Galindo's lawyer said the police were yet to provide substantive evidence to back up their accusations. Galindo has also not been charged yet and the court said he would be detained until March 1, the scheduled date of his next court appearance.

The journalist was detained at the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel in the capital Addis Ababa while while interviewing a political officer with the Oromo Liberation Front (ORF), a party legally recognized in Ethiopia, his lawyer said. The political officer was also detained.

Galindo had arrived in Addis Ababa on 13 February to cover an African Union summit as well as news in the country. He had informed the Ethiopian authorities of his assignment and had a visa to work there, Indigo Publications said.

Ethiopia is the second-worst jailer of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa, with at least eight journalists behind bars as of December 1, 2023, according to the CPJ's latest count.

Edited by: Mark Hallam

Roshni Majumdar Roshni is a writer at DW's online breaking news desk and covers stories from around the world.@RoshniMaj