National Press Club

Club plea for imprisoned Ethiopian journalist published in New York Review of Books

January 4, 2012 | By John Hughes | jhughes5@bloomberg.net

National Press Club President Mark Hamrick joined with other journalism leaders to urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take action against Ethiopia for imprisoning a journalist.

Hamrick is one of five people who signed a letter published in the current issue of The New York Review of Books on behalf of Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega.

Ethiopian authorities arrested Nega in September, shortly after he published an online column calling for an end to torture in Ethiopian prisons and advocated for freedom of expression. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death.

The letter calls on Clinton and U.S. allies ``to publicly repudiate Ethiopia's efforts to use terrorism laws to silence political dissent.'' It also asks that the United States to ensure more than $600 million in aid to Ethiopia is not used for repression.

Hamrick and the Club's Press Freedom Committee worked to add the signature to the letter also signed by representatives of Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Watch. To read the letter, click here.