Our campaign for the past two days calling for the release of our co-blogger Zelalem Workagegnehu, his friends co-defendant Bahiru Degu and Yonatan Tesfaye, can only be described has successful.
A great turn out on social media on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtags #FreeZelalem #FreeYonatan #FreeBahiru #FreeBloggersandJournalist and #FreePrisonersofConscience has been spectacular addressing the targeted parties and drawing participants from various regions, ages and backgrounds.
We hope and wish that our colleagues would be released sooner and resume life with their loved ones.
As we promised, our campaign will widen and get stronger in response to how “future proceedings transpire.”
You can see some of the selected tweets caught on Storify HERE.
Zelalem Workagenehu, co-blogger of De Birhan Blog, was initially charged in October 2014 with being the local leader of Ginbot 7 opposition Movement, conspiring violent revolution with his friends (such as this writer), writing and sending reports that appeared on Diaspora based websites such as this article he wrote in 2011 using his pen name, receiving money from abroad to recruit members for Ginbot 7, and facilitating asocial media and communication related training course with his friends.
However, the court dropped most of the charges and now he is defending two charges, which are receiving money (10, 000 birr) from abroad to recruit members for the opposition Ginbot 7 and facilitating the social media training.
Yonatan and Bahiru are charged for applying for the digital security course, which is framed as “a course to terrorize Ethiopia” by government prosecutors.
Zelalem Workagegnehu’s next court appearance is next Wednesday March 3, 2016.