Ethiopian journalist Kibrom Worku still remains detained, despite a bail granted by the court for his release by police in Addis Ababa.
Worku is the editor and head of the news department of the government owned Ahadu Radio and TV. He was arrested by Addis Abeba police on October 22, after the media reported that forces loyal to The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have taken over Hayik, a small town in South wollo zone.
According to his lawyer, Tigabu Desalgn, First Instance Court granted 15,000 ETB bail on November 12, 2021, for his release.
However, Addis Abeba police commission appealed to Arada high court on November 15, 2021 to remand him. The court then ordered the Addis Abeba police commission to finalize its investigation and bring the case files the next day.
Addis Abeba police compiled its investigation and presented it to the court and upon presenting the case files, Arada high court again ordered to release kibrom on 15,000 ETB.
However, the police didn’t release Kibrom since the last court order and appealed to Lideta high court in a habeas corpus file.
Desalgn told Addis Standard, he will appeal to Lideta high court in the coming two days to secure his client’s release.
The Ahadu Radio and TV news editor was arrested separately along with Luwam Atikilti, a female reporter at the station who reported the story.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for the journalists’ release and end to retaliation against members of the press for their coverage of the ongoing war in the north of the country.
“The detention of the two Ahadu Radio and Television journalists is a gross overreaction to a retracted report, and it is alarming that the courts would entertain criminal proceedings against them,” said Muthoki Mumo, CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative.
“Authorities should immediately release Luwam Atikilit and Kibrom Worku, and the police should discontinue any investigations against them.”