European Federation of Journalists

French journalist detained while on assignment in Addis Ababa

Credits: Indigo Publications.

French journalist Antoine Galindo was arrested on 22 February and subsequently detained in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while on assignment for Africa Intelligence, the news platform for whom he was working. The International and the European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) together with their French affiliates the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ), the Syndicat National des Journalistes CGT (SNJ-CGT), CFDT-Journalistes and the Syndicat Général des Journalistes Force Ouvrière (SGJ-FO) condemn Galindo’s arrest and call on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately release him. They ask the French government to do everything it can to help Galindo.

Following his arrest by authorities in civilian clothing in the early afternoon of 22 February, Galindo was brought before a judge two days later, who extended his detention until 1 March on allegations of conspiring with two armed groups to incite unrest in the capital, Africa intelligence reported. Galindo, head of Africa Intelligence’s East Africa section, has been held since at the Addis Ababa Police Commission in the Bole district, southeast of the capital city.

The journalist had arrived in Addis Ababa on 13 February on assignment to cover an African Union summit, according to Africa Intelligence. The media outlet published a statement condemning “his unjustified arrest, which is also a serious attack on press freedom.”

It also stated that Galindo has been suspected of “conspiracy to create chaos in Ethiopia,” and declared that such accusations are without evidence to justify his detention. The journalist had in fact informed the Ethiopian authorities of his assignment in the country and provided them with a visa authorising his journalistic work.

There has been a systematic pattern of repression by the Ethiopian Government to silence the media, harassing journalists to stop them from doing their work.

IFJ President Dominique Pradalié said: “The arrest of AntoineGalindo is yet another stifling attempt to suppress independent journalists and a deliberate attack on press freedom. Journalism is not a crime and we demand Galindo’s immediate release and that clarity be shed on the unfounded accusations of Ethiopian authorities.”