Ethiopia Urged to Reverse Decision to Expel Correspondent

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Ethiopia deported Simon Marks, a journalist who had been reporting for Bloomberg News and other media organizations about developments in Africa’s second-most populous nation including a civil war in the northern Tigray region.

Marks, an Irish citizen who had been reporting from the country for two years, was taken to the airport in the capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday after being called for a meeting and was held for eight hours before leaving the Horn of Africa nation for Brussels. Authorities had revoked his media credentials in March after he returned from an assignment in Tigray. No explanation was given for the expulsion, Marks said.

“We condemn the deportation of Simon Marks, who has been a valuable contributor to Bloomberg News,” Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said. “It is a clear violation of press freedom, in which a journalist is being prevented from doing his job of reporting on newsworthy events. We fully support him and encourage the authorities to reverse their decision.”

The reporter’s expulsion comes a month before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago, faces his first election after succeeding Hailemariam Desalegn in 2018. The repeatedly delayed June 21 vote is happening even as fighting continues in Tigray, six months after federal troops attacked the province in retaliation for a raid on an army base, and as violence flares in other regions.

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