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Lawyer for Ethiopia bloggers challenges detention

Members of the Ethiopian Federal Police and pedestrians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 1, 2014The lawyer for a group of detained Ethiopian bloggers and reporters said Thursday he was filing a civil suit against the country’s police for holding them without charge for nearly three months. The six members of the blogging collective Zone Nine and three journalists were arrested in April and accused by the government of “serious crimes”, including having links with outlawed groups and of planning attacks in Ethiopia. The Zone Nine site, proclaiming “we blog because we care!” features mostly social and political commentary, often critical of the government. Rights groups have condemned the arrests as one of the worst crackdowns on the press in recent years and accuse the Ethiopian government of silencing dissent ahead of national elections next May.

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