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French journalist detained in Ethiopia released after a week

In World
March 01, 2024

A French journalist arrested last week in Ethiopia on suspicion of conspiring to create chaos was released on Thursday, his employer, the specialist publication Africa Intelligence, said.

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Antoine Galindo was “freed after a week in prison and was able to leave Addis Ababa to return to Paris,” Paul Deutschmann, an editor-in-chief at the publication, told AFP.

Galindo, who heads the publication’s East Africa section, had travelled to Ethiopia to cover the African Union summit earlier this month and was arrested on February 22.

Authorities accused the 36-year-old reporter of conspiring “to create chaos” in the country.

“I’m well and I’m in good health,” he told AFP before leaving Addis Ababa.

“I’ve been treated well,” he added, despite what he described as difficult conditions in detention.

Deutschmann said Galindo’s release was a “real relief” to the entire staff of Africa Intelligence, who were eager to be reunited with him.

Galindo was arrested at a hotel in Addis Ababa while meeting an official from the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) party.

He was brought before a judge on Saturday, who ordered his detention be extended until March 1.

Media watchdogs urged the government to release Galindo, with the Committee to Protect Journalists saying Monday that his “unjust arrest highlights the atrocious environment for the press in general in Ethiopia”.

Ethiopia has expelled several foreign journalists since the end of 2020.

But prior to Galindo’s detention, authorities had not arrested a foreign journalist in more than three years.

In July 2020, a Kenyan journalist was detained for more than a month in Addis Ababa, despite an Ethiopian court ordering his release on bail.

(AFP)

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