WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Filed Under:

"Zone 9" Bloggers Charged in Ethiopia

Earlier this year, six pro-democracy bloggers, all founders of a group known as 'Zone9,' were arrested in Ethiopia along with three journalists. Last week, formal charges were filed against the group under the country's anti-terrorism law, alleging they have ties to an opposition group known as Ginbot 7. We talk to a colleague of the jailed bloggers and find out what the charges mean for U.S.-Ethiopia relations ahead of the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit next month.

The Zone 9 Story

We first met some members of Zone 9, a collective with a pro-democracy, pro-constitution message,earlier this year.

In January 2014, Kojo visited Ethiopia and sat down in Addis Ababa in a hotel with three Zone 9 bloggers.

April 2014: Two members of that trio, Befekadu Hailu and Abel Wabella, were arrested along with four other co-founders of the group and three journalists.

April 30, 2014: A week after the arrests, we talked with their colleagues about the country's political environment. The arrests are the latest to raise concerns about political freedom in the rapidly developing nation.

Also at play: On April 30, Oromo students put on non-violent demonstrations against a proposal that would annex some Oromia cities in order to create more land mass for the city of Addis Ababa.

Our listeners in Ethiopia sent us these photos of the growing conflict.

July 2014: Formal charges are filed against the group.

NPR

Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Took Unlikely Path To Hollywood Royalty

Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood knows tough times. A single mom at 17 who once worked at a French fry factory to make ends meet is Hollywood royalty today. A favorite of director Tim Burton, Atwood is now costume designer for his adaptation of the darkly comic, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
NPR

Carnegie Deli Says It Is Closing Down Its Landmark NYC Restaurant

As news of the closing rippled far beyond the deli's home turf in Manhattan Friday, hundreds of people responded with sadness and disbelief.
NPR

The VA Will Now Pay For Fertility Treatment For Wounded Vets

Congress has reversed a law passed in 1992 that prohibited the Department of Veterans Affairs from paying for IVF for veterans and their families, after mounting political pressure.
NPR

The United Nations Is Launching A Space Mission

The U.N. is planning to send its first spacecraft into orbit, packed with scientific experiments from countries that can't afford their own space programs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.