U.S. Students Feature Ethiopia’s Reeyot Alemu in ‘Press Uncuffed’ Campaign

Reeyot Alemu is one in a number of journalists who have been prosecuted under the vaguely worded and broad-reaching anti-terrorism laws passed by the Ethiopian legislature in 2009. (IWMF/Getty Images)


Students from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and their professor — Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Dana Priest — have launched the Press Uncuffed campaign to raise awareness about journalists imprisoned around the world.

The campaign, which kicked off last week at the Newseum in Washington, D.C, is being conducted in partnership with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). It features jailed reporters from nine countries, including Ethiopian Reeyot Alemu, winner of the 2013 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. Reeyot is currently serving a 5-year prison term under Ethiopia’s controversial terrorism law.

“These journalists were imprisoned for doing their jobs by governments fearful of a free press,” said CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch in a statement. “By recognizing these nine intrepid journalists-most of whom were jailed on anti-state or retaliatory charges-we hope to increase public pressure for their release and draw attention to the hundreds of others who have been silenced by their governments.”

CPJ added: “The journalists featured in the campaign have been imprisoned on anti-state or retaliatory charges. Two are being held without charge.”

They are: Ilham Tohti (China), Bheki Makhubu (Swaziland), Reeyot Alemu (Ethiopia), Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), Jason Rezaian (Iran), Yusuf Ruzimuradov (Uzbekistan), Mahmoud Abou Zeid Shawkan (Egypt), Ta Phong Tan (Vietnam) and Ammar Abdulrasool, (Bahrain).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here