ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia has released three journalists and three bloggers charged with incitement and terrorism in a country known for media oppression, a media rights organization and the state broadcaster said.
The release of the journalists release on Wednesday was welcomed by the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists. The group said five journalists and bloggers were arrested in late April 2014. Prominent journalist Reeyot Alemu, who was arrested in 2012 and serving a five-year sentence, was also released, according to the state broadcaster.
Their release comes ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit later this month to Ethiopia, the first ever by a sitting U.S. president. Obama has been criticized for planning to visit Ethiopia because of its poor record in upholding human and democratic rights.
Ethiopia is ranked fourth on list of the 10 most censored countries also the second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea, according to the press watchdog.
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