1. The Twitter campaign follows intense scrutiny from press freedom and rights groups. 41 organizations published a letter on July 24 calling for those in custody to be released, and asking that the government investigate allegations of mistreatment the group has faced while in jail.
  2. Ethiopia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights—which both expressly protect the right to freedom of expression. We therefore urge your government to fulfill its obligations under international law and release all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained in violation of their fundamental rights.
  3. These calls are the most recent in a string of campaigns raising awareness about the bloggers' detainment, and the wider issue of press freedom in Ethiopia.
  4. In April, writer Nwachukwu Egbunike commented on the Ethiopian government's restrictions on freedom of speech in an essay for the site African Hadithi:
  5. The social media is the newest victim in this deliberate and systemic plan to gag Ethiopians forever. Having sealed the fate of traditional journalists, the government is now set for a major crackdown on their online counterparts.
  6. Ethiopia has long been a source of concern for rights groups, who say that the country's 2009 anti-terrorism law is being used to stifle dissent. The Ethiopian government disagrees, insisting that the law was crafted by copying "word-for-word the very best anti-terrorism laws in the world." 
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