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Zone9 Bloggers : ‘Our Release Was As Surprising As Our Detention'


In the wake of their acquittal and release from prison, Ethiopia's Zone9 bloggers reflect on their experience and thank their supporters. The bloggers were arrested in April of 2014 and prosecuted under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Act. Five members of the group were released in July of 2015  and the remaining four were acquitted and released during the week of October 19, 2015. Learn more about their case.

Our release was as surprising as our detention. Five of us were released after our charges were “withdrawn” in July. The remaining four of us were released in October because we were acquitted (save for the appeal against our acquittal). Still one member of our group, Befeqadu, was released on bail and must defend himself later this year in December. Even though we were released in different circumstances, one thing makes all of us similar – our strong belief that we didn’t deserve even a single day of arrest.

Yes, it is good to be released, but we were arrested undeservedly. All we did was write and strive for the rule of law because we want to see the improvement of our country and the lives of its citizens. However, writing and dreaming for the better of our nation got us detained, harassed, tortured and exiled. Undeservedly.