Ethiopian Journalists Flee as Others Tried for Terror

Pedestrians walk past the Federal High Court building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 1, 2011.

Two newspaper columnists known for sharp criticisms of Ethiopia’s government are reported to have fled into exile, just as other journalists being tried on charges of treason and espionage.

Ethiopia’s journalist community was abuzz Tuesday with word that “Abe Tokichaw” has become the latest government critic to flee the country. The pen name, which in the Oromo language means “Abe the one and only,” is the moniker of writer Abebe Tola, who gained notoriety for political satire that pokes fun at Ethiopia’s ruling party and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

His irreverent columns have appeared in two privately owned newspapers, Feteh (Justice) and the Awramba Times, both known for their anti-government editorial line.

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