NPC Lends its Voice to Coalition Decrying Sentencing of Ethiopian Blogger
May 3, 2013 | By John M. Donnelly | JDonnelly@cq.com
The National Press Club joined with other human rights and journalism organizations in criticizing an Ethiopian court decision upholding an 18-year jail sentence for a blogger in that country.
The groups say the man, Eskinder Nega, has been unfairly convicted on specious terrorism charges.
The National Press Club spoke out last year about Nega’s case.
"We are deeply disappointed that Nega has been sent to prison, when his only 'offense' appears to have been writing critically about the government," said NPC President Angela Greiling Keane, a Bloomberg News reporter.
Nega received a press freedom award last year from PEN America for his defense of human rights in Ethiopia.
The statement was issued on World Press Freedom Day, which is marked every May 3. The day of commemoration was created in 1993 by the U. N. General Assembly.
"By upholding the sentence, the Ethiopian government has missed yet another opportunity to respect its freely undertaken obligations under international law," the groups said. "This failure is particularly striking in light of today’s World Press Freedom Day celebrations."
The National Press Club, established in 1908, is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. It counts among its members more than 3,000 reporters and news sources.