No. 62/2012 (Ethiopia)
Communication addressed to the Government on 27 July 2012
Concerning Eskinder Nega
The Government did not reply to the communication within the
60-day deadline. The State is a party to the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights.
1. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was
established in resolution 1991/42 of the former Commission on Human
Rights, which extended and clarified the Working Group's mandate in
its resolution 1997/50. The Human Rights Council assumed that
mandate in its decision 2006/102 and extended it for a three-year
period in its resolution 15/18 of 30 September 2010. In accordance
with its methods of work (A/HRC/16/47, annex, and Corr.1), the
Working Group transmitted the above-mentioned communication to the
2. The Working Group regards deprivation of
liberty as arbitrary in the following cases:
(a) When it is clearly impossible to invoke any
legal basis justifying the deprivation of liberty (as when a person
is kept in detention after the completion of his or her sentence or
despite an amnesty law applicable to the detainee) (category
(b) When the deprivation of liberty results from
the exercise of the rights or freedoms guaranteed by articles 7,
13, 14, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and, insofar as State parties are concerned, by articles 12,
18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27 of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (category II);
(c) When the total or partial non-observance of
the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial,
established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the
relevant international instruments accepted by the States
concerned, is of such gravity as to give the deprivation of liberty
an arbitrary character (category III);
(d) When asylum seekers, immigrants or refugees
are subjected to prolonged administrative custody without the
possibility of administrative or judicial review or remedy
(e) When the deprivation of liberty constitutes a
violation of international law for reasons of discrimination based
on birth; national, ethnic or social origin; language; religion;
economic condition; political or other opinion; gender; sexual
orientation; or disability or other status, and which aims towards
or can result in ignoring the equality of human rights (category
Communication from the source
3. Mr. Eskinder Nega is a prominent independent
journalist and blogger in Addis Ababa.
Background of the petitioner and past periods
spent in detention
4. Mr. Nega began his career in 1993 when he
founded the Ethiopis newspaper, which was later closed by
the Government. He is also founder of three publications which were
also banned: the English weekly, Habesha, and
Dehai. Mr. Nega has further frequently contributed to
other publications as a columnist. These include the monthly
magazine Change and the online new forum
EthioMedia, both also banned in the country. Although Mr.
Nega is well known for his political views and criticism of the
Government, he is not affiliated to any political party.
5. Mr. Nega has been placed in detention for eight
different periods over the last two decades. In 2005, Mr. Nega was
arrested with his wife, Ms. Serkalem Fasil, in the context of the
electoral process in Ethiopia. Both were charged with "outrages
against the Constitution", "impairment of the defensive power of
the State", and "attempted genocide". Released on 9 April 2007,
after approximately 17 months in detention, Mr. Nega's and Ms.
Fasil's journalistic work continued to be subject to regular
interference by the authorities. Their Sekalem Publishing Company
was fined and dissolved in July 2007. In January 2009, the
Government blocked Mr. Nega and Ms. Fasil from relaunching the
publishing house. Nevertheless, Mr. Nega continued to write,
primarily for online publications based outside Ethiopia.
6. Mr. Nega was again briefly detained on 11
February 2011 after having published an article online featuring
the picture of a former general. He was accused of trying to incite
an "Egyptian-like protest in Ethiopia" and he was also warned by
the police about a possible conviction in the future.
7. Notwithstanding the warning he received and the
police surveillance that followed, Mr. Nega continued to publish
articles about the protests taking place in Egypt, Libya and
Tunisia. While discussing the impact that such events could have on
the political situation in Ethiopia, Mr. Nega repeatedly emphasized
in his articles the importance of non-violence.
Pretrial detention and charges brought against
8. On 14 September 2011, Mr. Nega was arrested by
the federal police while driving in Addis Ababa to pick up his son
from kindergarten. His writings, documents, 80 compact discs, some
currency, car, laptop and mobile telephone were seized by the
police. He was then transferred to the Maekelawi Federal Police
Criminal Investigation Prison. Mr. Nega was not presented with an
arrest warrant pursuant to article 19, paragraph 1, of Ethiopia's
Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652/2009 (hereinafter the 2009
9. On 15 September 2011, he was remanded in police
custody until 12 October 2011 to allow police additional time to
investigate. Article 20, paragraph 5, of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism
Proclamation requires pretrial detention for terrorism suspects.
While in pretrial detention, Mr. Nega did not have access to legal
counsel or members of his family.
10. On 10 November 2011, Mr. Nega along with 23
other individuals was charged before the Lideta Federal High Court
with terrorism and treason. This was the first time since his
arrest that Mr. Nega had access to legal counsel. In the
Government's charging sheet, Mr. Nega is accused of having violated
articles 32(1)a, 38(1), 248(b), and 252(1)a of Ethiopia's 2004
Criminal Code as well as articles 3, paragraphs 1-4, 4, 6 and 7,
paragraph 2, of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.
11. In the source's view not only are articles 4
and 6 of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation excessively broad,
but also the charges in this case are not supported by factual
allegations contained in the Government's charge sheet. The source
declares that the only relevant part in the document which refers
to factual allegations provides as follows:
Since 2003 E.C. [September 2010], at a time that
is not known, by using as cover his constitutional right to freedom
of expression, in order to put an end to the Constitution and the
constitutional system through an organized terrorist act, [Mr.
Nega] served as a local agent of the terrorist organization Ginbot
7; accepted terrorist mission; in collaboration with the terrorist
organization organized in secret in the country, made terrorist
plans, and coordinated the planned terrorism with members of the
terrorist organization that are in the country and abroad;
disseminated calls for terrorism and violence; disseminated
mobilizing materials in different ways; collected information that
he directly passed on to Ginbot 7 and indirectly to the enemy of
the Eritrean Government and other terrorist organization; called
meetings that had terrorist mission and took decisions on different
terrorist actions (English translation of the Prosecutor's Charging
Document, Prosecutor's File No. 00190/04, 10 November 2011).
12. On 24 January 2012, the third criminal bench
of the Lideta Federal High Court confirmed the charges against Mr.
Nega and scheduled the beginning of the trial for 5 March 2012.
However, due to amended pleadings submitted by the Government
lawyers, the trial proceedings did not recommence until 24 March
13. During the trial, both the prosecution and
defence were given an opportunity to present evidence to the court.
The prosecution submitted to the court a series of Mr. Nega's
writings and interviews as evidence of his guilt. During the
proceedings, prosecutors showed video evidence that Mr. Nega had
spoken at events sponsored by different opposition parties in
14. Mr. Nega addressed the court and admitted to
calling for peaceful protests in Ethiopia; however, he expressly
denied advocating violence (English translation of his defence
statement). Mr. Nega reiterated that "Ethiopia needs change in a
peaceful democratic manner". The defence also presented a 70-minute
video recording of a meeting of the Unity for Democracy and Justice
opposition party, which Mr. Nega was invited to address. The
defence played the full video to show that the Government had
selectively used clips of the video out of context during its
presentation. In the video, Mr. Nega emphasized that any protests
should be "peaceful and legal". Mr. Nega also spoke of the video
recorded opposition event in his statement to the court, saying
that: "I was invited to write something. I accepted the invitation
without hesitation, because I believe that it is my right to
participate and get involved. As much as I could I wanted to
encourage people to get involved and discuss in a peaceful manner
the current situation of our country and get their views across"
(English translation of Mr. Nega's defence statement).
15. In April 2012, the court held a "trial within
a trial" after prosecutors complained that local independent media
coverage by the Fareh and Negradas newspapers
portrayed the proceedings as politically motivated and the
defendants as falsely accused. Prosecution requested the court to
find that the coverage was unbalanced and order the papers to
publish a correction. On 22 April 2012, the court convicted
journalist, Mr. Temesgen Desalegn, of interfering with the
proceedings and sentenced him to four months in prison or a fine of
2,000 birr (approximately equivalent to US$ 114).
Verdict and sentencing of Mr. Nega
16. Although a verdict in Mr. Nega's case was
expected on 11 May 2012, the court postponed its announcement
twice. On 27 June 2012, the court found Mr. Nega and his
co-defendants "guilty as charged".
17. In presenting the verdict, Judge Endeshaw
Adane accused Mr. Nega of abusing his right to freedom of
expression and threatening national security: "Under the guise of
freedom of speech and gathering, the suspects attempted to incite
violence and overthrow the constitutional order." Judge Adane
accused Mr. Nega of writing "articles that incited the public to
bring the North African and Arab uprisings to Ethiopia" and
indicated that evidence against the defendants included speeches,
articles, e-mails, phone calls and social media messages. He warned
that "[f]reedom of speech can be limited when it is used to
undermine security and not used for the public interest" and
concluded that "[t]here is no way other than democratic elections
to attain power in the country, and what [the defendants] said is
clearly against the Constitution".
18. In response to the verdict, Mr. Nega
re-emphasized his innocence stating that: "I have struggled for
peaceful democracy and I have never disrespected any individual and
I did not commit a crime … [m]y conscience is clear." He insisted
that: "You have to stand for justice, you have to allow us to say
what we want … you have no right to limit our freedom of
19. It is reported that, shortly after the
proceedings closed, Mr. Nega was placed in solitary confinement
until 29 June 2012. While in pretrial detention, Mr. Nega was
allegedly beaten, forced to stand for hours upon end, deprived of
sleep and had cold water poured over him. On 13 July 2012, the
court sentenced Mr. Nega to 18 years of imprisonment.
Source's contention regarding the arbitrary
character of Mr. Nega's detention as a result of his peaceful
exercise of the right to freedom of expression
20. The source submits that Mr. Nega's prosecution
is a direct result of his legitimate work as an independent
journalist and commentator. The source contends that his detention
runs counter to article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights (ICCPR), article 19 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and article 29 of the
Constitution of Ethiopia.
21. Article 19, paragraph 2, of the ICCPR
specifically protects the work of journalists (see Human Rights
Committee, communication No. 1334/2004, Mavlonov and Sa'di
v. Uzbekistan (CCPR/C/95/D/1334/2004)) and "includes the
right of individuals to criticize or openly and publicly evaluate
their Governments without fear of interference or
punishment".1 The Human Rights Committee has also
emphasized that freedom of expression and "a free and uncensored
press" are of "paramount importance"2 in a democratic
society (see the Committee's general comment No. 25 (1996) on the
right to participate in public affairs, voting rights and the right
of equal access to public service, para. 25).
22. The source maintains that when the prosecution
charged Mr. Nega under the Criminal Code and the 2009
Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, it acknowledged that the ultimate
motivation behind the case against Mr. Nega was his writings which
were critical of the Government. Prosecutors claimed that Mr. Nega
had "use[d] as cover his constitutional right to freedom of
expression". The evidence submitted by the prosecution during the
trial relied on Mr. Nega's public writings and speeches, although
none of them advocated the use of violence to prove his guilt. The
court specifically identified Mr. Nega's work as a journalist and
accused him of attempting to incite an Arab Spring-like movement in
Ethiopia. The source contends that the genuine character of the
link between Mr. Nega's ongoing detention and his peaceful exercise
of the right to freedom of expression finds further support in the
past history of intimidation by the authorities and several periods
Mr. Nega had spent in detention (see paragraphs 4-12 above).
23. The source contests the broad interpretation
by the Lideta Federal High Court of the limitations applicable to
the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. The Court
stated that "[f]reedom of speech can be limited when it is used to
undermine security and not used for the public interest". General
comment No. 34 (2011) of the Human Rights Committee provides that
"when a State party imposes restrictions on the exercise of freedom
of expression, these may not put in jeopardy the right itself". Any
permissible restriction must be: (a) "provided by law"; (b) for the
protection of one of the "enumerated purposes"; and (c) "necessary"
to achieve that purpose.3 The source states that the
limitation on Mr. Nega's free expression was not for a proper
purpose and was not necessary.
24. The source submits that in the case of Mr.
Nega the prosecution did not "specify the precise nature of the
threat"4 that the expression posed to the national
security of Ethiopia. Also, "the legitimate objective of
safeguarding and indeed strengthening national unity under
difficult political circumstances cannot be achieved by attempting
to muzzle advocacy of multi-party democracy, democratic tenets and
human rights".5 The source further maintains that the
charges against Mr. Nega include the provisions of the 2009
Anti-Terrorism Proclamation which are exceedingly broad, namely
when the law punishes anyone who "publishes or causes the
publication of a statement that is likely to be understood by some
or all of the members of the public to whom it is published as a
direct or indirect encouragement" of terrorism (art. 6). The source
also points out that the factual allegations brought up by the
Government lacked any specific details about the exact nature of
25. Even if the Government could invoke the
national security exception, the limitation on Mr. Nega's freedom
of expression was not necessary to achieve that purpose. According
to the source, the Government failed to establish "direct and
immediate connection between the expression and the threat"
(general comment No. 34 (see paragraph 23 above), para. 35) and
took measures against Mr. Nega not proportional to the value which
the restriction serves to protect.
Source's contention regarding the arbitrary
character of Mr. Nega's detention as a result of partial or total
non-observance of his right to a fair trial
26. The source submits that the continued
detention of Mr. Nega is also arbitrary as it results from grave
breaches of the international norms relating to the right to a fair
27. In particular, the source maintains that the
Ethiopian authorities breached article 14, paragraph 1, of the
ICCPR and article 20, paragraph 3, of the Constitution of Ethiopia,
Mr. Nega's right to be tried by an independent tribunal and his
right to the presumption of innocence, by publicly expressing
certainty about his guilt at the highest level. Reportedly, even
before he was formally charged, authorities repeatedly and publicly
accused Mr. Nega of terrorism in the days and weeks following his
arrest. The Government's spokesperson, Shimeles Kemal, claimed that
"[t]he five men were involved in staging a series of terrorist acts
that would likely wreak havoc", and were connected to Ginbot 7.
Similar statements followed from the Deputy Federal Police
Commissioner, Demesash Woldemikael, in September 2011 and the Prime
Minister when addressing the Ethiopian Parliament in October 2011.
Moreover, Mr. Nega has not been allowed unimpeded access to a
lawyer in alleged breach of article 14, paragraphs (b) and (d), of
the ICCPR as well as article 21, paragraph 2, of the Constitution
of Ethiopia. After his arrest on 14 September 2011, the Ethiopian
authorities allegedly kept Mr. Nega without access to a lawyer
until 10 November 2011. During two pretrial hearings that took
place on 15 September 2011 and 28 days later, Mr. Nega did not
benefit from any legal assistance. Finally, the source notes that
for almost two months, Mr. Nega was deprived of any access to
members of his family, in alleged contravention of principle 19 of
the Body of Principles for the Protection of Persons under Any Form
of Detention or Imprisonment (General Assembly resolution 43/173 of
9 December 1988).
28. Mr. Nega is currently held in detention in
Kaliti Prison. He is expected to appeal against the court's
sentence dated 13 July 2012.
Response from the Government
29. The Government did not reply to the Working
Group's communication of 27 July 2012 within the 60-day deadline.
In a letter of 5 October 2012, the Government requested an
extension of the deadline, effectively outside the 60-day period
for replying to the allegation, and therefore not granted.
30. The Working Group would like to point out that
it has not yet, by 21 November 2012, received a response to the
specific allegations made by the source.
31. In the absence of a response from the
Government, the Working Group is able, based on its revised methods
of work, to render an opinion in the light of the information
submitted to it.
32. In 2011 the Human Rights Committee in its
concluding observations on Ethiopia addressed matters that are
relevant to this opinion, including issues such as overly broad
anti-terrorism offences and freedom of expression:
While the Committee appreciates the State party's
need to adopt measures to combat acts of terrorism, it regrets the
unclear definition of certain offences in Proclamation 652/2009 and
is concerned by the scope of some of its provisions, including the
criminalization of encouragement of and inducement to terrorism
through publication, which can lead to abuse against the media
(arts. 2, 15 and 19).
The State party should ensure that its
anti-terrorism legislation defines the nature of those acts with
sufficient precision to enable individuals to regulate their
conduct accordingly. The State party should ensure that its
legislation is limited to crimes that deserve to attract the grave
consequences associated with terrorism, and revise its legislation
that imposes undue restrictions on the exercise of rights under the
The Committee is concerned by provisions of the
Proclamation on the Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to
Information (No. 591/2008), in particular the registration
requirements for newspapers, the severe penalties for criminal
defamation, and the inappropriate application of this law in the
combat against terrorism, as illustrated by the closure of many
newspapers and legal charges brought against some journalists. The
Committee is also concerned by reports received about the
impossibility of accessing various foreign websites and radio
stations (art. 19).
The State party should revise its legislation to
ensure that any limitations on the rights to freedom of expression
are in strict compliance with article 19, paragraph 3, of the
Covenant, and in particular it should review the registration
requirements for newspapers and ensure that media are free from
harassment and intimidation.6
33. In the 2012 report of the Special Rapporteur
on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment, concern is expressed that the rights of Mr. Nega and
two other individuals under the Convention against Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment have been
violated. The Special Rapporteur added the following:
The Special Rapporteur regrets that the Government
of Ethiopia has not responded to this communication, thereby
failing to cooperate with the mandate established by the Human
Rights Council. The communication referred to the alleged
ill-treatment of Mr. Eskinder Nega, the alleged torture of Mr.
Woubshet Taye, and the lack of access to doctors of Ms. Reeyot
Alemu while in detention. In this context, the Special Rapporteur
recalls that article 12 of the Convention against Torture requires
the competent authorities to undertake a prompt and impartial
investigation wherever there are reasonable grounds to believe that
torture has been committed, and article 7 requires State parties to
prosecute suspected perpetrators of torture. In light of the fact
that no evidence has been provided to the contrary, the Special
Rapporteur is concerned that the rights of the aforementioned
individuals under the UN Convention against Torture have been
violated. The Special Rapporteur calls on the Government to
investigate, prosecute and punish all cases of torture and
ill-treatment and to ensure full redress to the
34. On 2 February 2012, five special rapporteurs,
the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right
to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the
promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms
while countering terrorism, the Special Rapporteur on the situation
of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to
freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and the Special
Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, expressed
their dismay at the continuing abuse of anti-terrorism legislation
to curb freedom of expression in Ethiopia.8 The Special
Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders emphasized
that "journalists, bloggers and others advocating for increased
respect for human rights should not be subject to pressure for the
mere fact that their views are not in alignment with those of the
Government". She expressed especial concern over "the case of Mr.
Eskinder Nega, a blogger and human rights defender who may face the
death penalty if convicted. Mr. Nega has been advocating for reform
on the issue of the right to assemble peacefully in
35. After the sentencing of Mr. Nega, the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 18 July 2012 stated
her serious alarm over the current climate of intimidation against
human rights defenders and journalists in Ethiopia, resulting from
the use of "overly broad" laws on terrorism and civil society
registration. She stated that:
"The recent sentencing of 20 Ethiopians, including
prominent blogger Eskinder Nega, journalists and opposition
figures, under the vague anti-terrorism law has brought into stark
focus the precarious situation of journalists, human rights
defenders and Government critics in the country.
The very harsh sentences handed down to
journalists and other Government critics in recent months, coupled
with excessive restrictions placed on human rights NGOs in the
country have had the effect of stifling dissent and seriously
undermining the freedom of opinion and expression in Ethiopia.
Laws to combat terrorism must be consistent with
the Government's human rights obligations under international
conventions as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples'
Rights and other regional instruments to which Ethiopia is party …
The overly broad definitions in the July 2009 anti-terrorism law of
Ethiopia result in criminalizing the exercise of fundamental human
rights," she said, adding she was also concerned about difficult
conditions in pre-trial detention and due process in the conduct of
the various trials.10
36. Finally, the Working Group recalls that in
2012 the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights adopted a
resolution on Ethiopia, stating it was "[g]ravely
alarmed by the arrests and prosecutions of journalists and
political opposition members, charged with terrorism and other
offences including treason, for exercising their peaceful and
legitimate rights to freedom of expression and freedom of
37. On 13 July 2012, Mr. Nega was sentenced to 18
years of imprisonment for terrorism and treason offences. These
provisions, and the use of national security in this context, are
38. Overly broad criminal offences are the subject
of analysis in opinion No. 54/2012 (Iran (Islamic Republic of)),
opinion No. 48/2012 (Iran (Islamic Republic of)), and further in
opinion No. 27/2012 (Viet Nam), paras. 35-39, where the Working
Group's case law is set out.
39. The Working Group subjects interventions
against individuals who may qualify as human rights defenders to
particularly intense review. See for instance opinion No. 21/2011
(Iran (Islamic Republic of)), opinion No. 54/2012 (Iran (Islamic
Republic of)) and opinion No. 48/2012 (Iran, Islamic Republic of)).
Mr. Nega's role as a human rights defender and his own role in
human rights work, as a publicist and blogger, require the Working
Group to undertake this kind of intense review.
40. The source has provided convincing facts that
the judgement is a consequence of Mr. Nega's use of his right to
freedom of expression and his activities as a human rights
defender, which the Government has not rebutted. The application of
the overly broad offences in the current case constitutes an
unjustified restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and
to a fair trial,12 and constitutes a deprivation of
liberty that falls into category II of the categories applicable to
the cases submitted to the Working Group and for which the remedy
is immediate release.
41. The source has similarly established several
breaches of Mr. Nega's right to a fair trial. One of these breaches
is the lack of legal representation in the pretrial period from 14
September to 10 November 2011 in contravention of article 14,
paragraph 3 (b), of the ICCPR. These breaches constitute a
deprivation of liberty that falls into category III of the
categories applicable to the cases submitted to the Working
42. Article 9, paragraph 5, of the ICCPR provides
an enforceable right to compensation for anyone who has been the
victim of unlawful arrest or detention. The Working Group has in
its jurisprudence continued to develop, based on general
principles, the right to a remedy, which primarily is a right to
immediate release and to compensation. In this case, it is clear
that Mr. Nega has a claim to compensation under article 9,
paragraph 5, of the Covenant, which is an expression of general
principles. The reasons that may be given for the detention of Mr.
Nega cannot be used against a claim for compensation.
43. In conclusion, the Working Group recalls the
critical findings, and its own opinions, on human rights violations
occurring in Ethiopia by United Nations human rights bodies and the
African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.
44. The Working Group encourages the Government of
Ethiopia to cooperate fully with the Working Group and respect the
timelines related to cases being considered by it.
45. In the light of the foregoing, the Working
Group on Arbitrary Detention renders the following opinion:
The deprivation of liberty of Eskinder Nega
is arbitrary in violation of articles 9, 10 and 19 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9, 14 and 19 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and falls
into categories II and III of the categories applicable to the
cases submitted to the Working Group.
46. The Working Group requests the Government to
take the necessary steps to remedy the situation, which include the
immediate release of Mr. Nega and adequate reparation to him.
[Adopted on 21 November 2012]
1Human Rights Committee, communication
No. 1128/2002, Marques de Morais v. Angola
(CCPR/C/83/D/1128/2002), para. 6.7.
2Ibid., para. 6.8.
3Human Rights Committee, communication
No. 926/2000, Shin v. Republic of Korea
(CCPR/C/80/D/926/2000), para. 7.2.
4Communication No. 518/1992,
Jong-Kyu Sohn v. Republic of Korea, para. 10.4
(Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR), Selected Decisions of the Human Rights Committee under
the Optional Protocol (United Nations publication, Sales No.
5Human Rights Committee, communication
No. 458/1991, Mukong v. Cameroon, Views adopted
on 21 July 1994, para. 9.7.
6Concluding observations of the Human
Rights Committee: Ethiopia (CCPR/C/ETH/CO/1 of 19 August 2011),
paras. 15 and 24.
7Report of the Special Rapporteur on
torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment, Juan E. Méndez: observations on communications
transmitted to Governments and replies received
(A/HRC/19/61/Add.4), para. 53.
8OHCHR press release, "UN experts
disturbed at persistent misuse of terrorism law to curb freedom of
expression", available at www.ohchr.org.
10OHCHR press release, "Climate of
intimidation against rights defenders and journalists in Ethiopia",
available at www.ohchr.org.
11At the fifty-first ordinary session
of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (18 April-2
12The Working Group has in its previous
opinion No. 28/2009 (Ethiopia) found a violation of political free
speech rights in a criminal case.