Cyber Ethiopia

Zone 9 Bloggers of Ethiopia Awarded at Martin Ennals 2016 Ceremony

Zone 9 Bloggers of Ethiopia Awarded at Martin Ennals 2016 Ceremony (Geneva, Switzerland)

Zone 9 Bloggers of Ethiopia Awarded at Martin Ennals 2016 Ceremony (Geneva, Switzerland)

(CyberEthiopia) October 11, 2016 - Geneva, Switzerland

Zone 9 Bloggers were honored at the prestigious Martin Ennals Award 2016 Ceremony  in the presence of former Swiss President, Professor Micheline Calmy-Rey.

The ceremony was held at the University of Geneva .

Present at the ceremony, Zelalem Kibret received the awards on behalf of the Zone 9 bloggers on whom an unjust travel ban has been imposed by the Ethiopian authorities.

The Martin Ennals Award is given to Human Rights Defenders who have shown deep commitment and face great personal risk. The aim of the award is to provide protection through international recognition.

This year’s finalists included Razan Zaitouneh, a prominent human rights lawyer, activist, and journalist in Syria, lham Tohti is a renowned Uyghur public intellectual in the People’s Republic of China and Zone 9 Bloggers from Ethiopia.

Watch Video and listen to Zelalem’s speech.

Zone 9 Bloggers (Ethiopia)

Kality prison in Ethiopia, has 8 zones and holds many journalists and political prisoners. 9 young activists called themselves ‘Zone 9’ as a symbol for Ethiopia as a whole. They document human rights abuses and shed light on the situation of political prisoners in Ethiopia. Six of its members were arrested and charged with terrorism. Although they have now been released, three are in exile while four of the six remaining in in Ethiopia are still facing charges and are banned from travel.

The main award of the human rights movement. The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) is a unique collaboration among ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations to give protection to human rights defenders worldwide. The Jury is composed of the following NGOs:

Martin Ennals Award Jury:

  • Amnesty International
  • FIDH
  • Human Rights First
  • International Service for Human Rights
  • EWDE Germany
  • Front Line Defenders
  • Human Rights Watch
  • International Commission of Jurists
  • World Organisation Against Torture

More about the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

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Warka ዋርካ
the Pioneering Ethiopian Discussion
Forum in Amharic

The then-TPLF-dominated regime in Ethiopia was the first in sub-Saharan Africa to actively engage in political censorship of the Internet .

Since May 2006, the most popular Ethiopian web sites (including CyberEthiopia) and several blogs have been blocked across the nation. The apparent objective was to prevent the dissemination of information that is critical of the regime.

Following the political protests which have swept the nation since November 2015, the regime has routinely shutdown the Internet and restricted access to Social Media (including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber) and indicated its keenness to control Social Media.

On 22nd June 2018, the new Prime Minister Dr Abye Ahmed's government reported that it had unblocked 264 websites including after 12 years of blockage as attested by the OONI’s thorough verifications of our website’s unblocking .

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