NEW YORK — An imprisoned Ethiopian journalist and blogger who could face the death penalty for advocating peaceful protests in his Horn of Africa homeland was honored Tuesday with PEN America’s “Freedom to Write” award.
Eskinder Nega was arrested in 2011 under Ethiopia’s sweeping anti-terrorism laws, which PEN says criminalize any reporting deemed to “encourage” or “provide moral support” to groups and causes the government deems “terrorists.”
Nega is still in jail after a judge in Addis Ababa found him guilty Jan. 23 on terror charges. He could face the death penalty at sentencing.
Ethiopia has arrested close to 200 people, among them journalists and opposition politicians and members, under last year’s anti-terrorism proclamation.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, more journalists have fled Ethiopia than any other country in the world over the past decade.
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