International blogging, translation and advocacy group Global Voices has hosted an African Tweetathon, calling for the release of nine journalists and bloggers currently detained in Ethiopia.
Nine Ethiopian men and women part of the “Zone 9” blogging group – which promotes critical engagement and discourse around Ethiopia’s political, social and business environments – were arrested in late April and have been detained reportedly without access to legal personnel or their families.
Yesterday’s Tweetathon event was hosted by Nigerian bloggers Blossom Nnodim and Nwachukwu Egbunike, alongside Global Voices editor Tanzania’s Ndesanjo Macha, and called for social media users across Africa to make a stand using the hashtag #FreeZone9Bloggers.
The group focused its social media campaign towards community leaders, government and diplomatic actors, as well as mainstream media with the aim of increasing awareness of the case.
“The Global Voices community and our network of friends and allies are demanding the release of these nine men and women, all of whom have worked hard to expand spaces for social and political commentary in Ethiopia through blogging and traditional journalism,” said Global Voices.
“We believe their arrest is a violation of their universal right to free expression, as well as their right not to be arbitrarily detained.”