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Learning from HRDs: Working as a journalist in the media and human rights hostile environment of Ethiopia
January 27, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 2:15 pmFREE
Speaker: Getachew Simie, CAHR visiting fellow
Getachew Simie is a well-known journalist in Ethiopia. He will speak about the difficulty of working with independent media and promoting freedom of expression in his home country.
Starting in 1997, Getachew Simie worked as a freelance journalist for newspapers published in the official language, and later on as a reporter for a weekly official language newspaper. Beginning from 1999, he has worked as a senior reporter, Editor and Editor-in-Chief in highly circulated privately owned national newspapers and magazines.
Throughout his career in journalism Getachew Simie has faced threats, harassment, detention and imprisonment as a result of the stories published in the newspapers he has worked for. He has covered different issues ranging from investigative reporting on corruption and on the violation of children’s rights, to the rights of women and of people in detention. He was arrested and then released number of times due to the pressure from the then journalist association and a campaign by the media. In the aftermath of the contested 2006 election, a large number of journalists and political opposition leaders were arrested and imprisoned. Among them, Getachew Simie was imprisoned for three months.
Getachew Simie has served in the Ethiopian Free Press Journalist Association (EFJA) as a public relations officer and has been awarded a certificate from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for his contribution to the media landscape in Ethiopia. His journalism work has also been recognised by the International Press Institute (IPI) and he received an honorary membership in the year 1999. He has also been awarded a peace ambassador certificate from Universal Peace Federation based in Seoul, South Korea, as a recognition for the contribution he made for peace when working as a journalist.
Getachew Simie is currently a visiting fellow at the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) under the auspices of the Protective Fellowship Scheme for HRDs at Risk. The Learning from HRDs lecture series showcases front line human rights work conducted by CAHR’s visiting human rights defenders.