" ITREALMS: Ethiopia releases French journalist, Antoine Galindo - ITREALMS

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Ethiopia releases French journalist, Antoine Galindo - ITREALMS

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A French journalist with African Intelligence, Mr. Antoine Galindo has been released by the authorities in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, reports ITREALMS.
Galindo, ITREALMS gathered, was arrested on 22 February while on assignment for Africa Intelligence in Ethiopia.

He was released Thursday ahead of Friday second court hearing.

Voice of America (VOA) quoted the head of CPJ’s Africa programme, Angela Quintal, as confirming that Galindo, a reporter for Paris-based news site Africa Intelligence, left for France immediately after his release.

“Unfortunately, the local politician whom he was interviewing when he was arrested remained in jail and appeared in court (last Friday),” Quintal said.

Noting that Galindo was arrested February 22 while interviewing Bate Urgessa, a political officer for the opposition party, the Oromo Liberation Front, and they were both charged with “conspiracy to create chaos.”

Two days later, Galindo was brought before a judge who granted a one-week investigation period for police “to search the journalist’s mobile phone and apprehend other ‘suspects’ who were ‘complicit.’ ”

Earlier, the International and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) together with their French affiliates the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ), the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ-CGT), CFDT Journalistes and the Syndicat Général des Journalistes Force Ouvrière (SGJ-FO) condemned Galindo’s arrest and called on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately release him.

They also asked the French government for intervention.

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.


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