VOA Reporter Detained in Ethiopia

May 25th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

A Voice of America reporter has been detained in the Ethiopian capital while trying to cover a demonstration Friday.

Witnesses to the arrest said that reporter Peter Heinlein and his translator Simegineh Yekoye were detained while seeking to interview protesters during a Muslim demonstration following Friday prayers in Addis Ababa.

Another Western reporter said there was a heavy police presence at the demonstration and that he also was stopped by police and told to leave the area.

Tom Rhodes, East Africa spokesman for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said he understood that Heinlein was accused of acting “unprofessionally and illegally.” Rhodes said a government spokesman accused Heinlein, who is married to a Danish diplomat, of improperly using a diplomatic vehicle and refusing to show media accreditation.

Rhodes added that the accusations seemed at odds with Heinlein’s reputation as a highly professional journalist who has worked for VOA since 1988.

“However, I would add that Peter Heinlein is a veteran reporter, an experienced and professional broadcaster, so personally I find it rather hard to believe that someone like Heinlein would be reporting unprofessionally,” Rhodes said.

In a formal statement from its headquarters in Washington, VOA said, “The safety and welfare of our reporters is our utmost concern and we are working to gather more information about Mr. Heinlein’s status.”

The statement said VOA is in touch with the U.S. Department of State seeking more information and that it is urging “Ethiopian authorities to allow Mr. Heinlein to carry out his journalistic responsibilities without interference.”

Heinlein reported last week on rising tensions between the government and Ethiopia’s Muslim minority, which has held a series of demonstrations to protest what the community sees as government interference in Islamic affairs.

The CPJ quoted Minister of Government Communications Bereket Simon saying officials wanted to speak to Heinlein about his “unobjective” reporting on the Muslim issue. Bereket did not say whether Heinlein has been formally arrested or charged.

  1. Dedebit
    | #1

    I have to say Thank You to Woyane for taking this action, this will be a wake up call & proof to the Obama administration that what Abebe Gelaw said loud & clear at G8 meeting “Meles is. Adicator ” is 100% true.
    Woyane left the TPLF Cave 21 years a go after toppling Derg, however Woyane still thinks as a Cave Man

    Once Dedebit Always Dedebit

  2. Birtu/can
    | #2

    Here we go again! An American terrorist caught in the midst of Addis Ababa masquerading as a journalist! Kudos for woyane intelligence officers. This is their second time busting foreign terrorists following the Swedish.Put him in jail.Show them you don’t mess around.You stupid knuckleheads!!


    | #3


  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    There is no doubt that Dictator Meles and his trained dogs are paranoid criminals who have committed despicable crimes against humanity. As we all know, they have been on looting and killing sprees since they came to office. Ethiopians have been locked up for two decades, tortued and gunned down at the hands of merciless TPLF and their tyrant master Meles. They have evicted Ethiopians from their homes and property and given their land to foreign billionaires who do not care if Ethiopians live or die. It is unfortunate and moronic that the kinds of despicable crimes TPLF have committed on Ethiopia and Ethiopians, have been taken and seen as a progress by the the bunch of moron TPLF supporters. The tyrant and his well trained professional thieves have a lot to hide from Ethiopians and the rest of the world and they will do anything to hide the crimes they have been committing on innocent Ethiopians, their looting and killing sprees. Members of TPLF and their master do what paranoid thieves, drug-dealers, thieves and other criminals do best; they take active steps to hide their tracks, their crimes and their next criminal activities even at the cost of human lives as we witnessed TPLF for the last 22 years. If the paranoid brutal dictator doesn’t have nothing to hide, he could have been more open and even invite foreign journalists to come and see for themselves to prove that he doesn’t have nothing to hid, he is not a brutal dictator that has committed crimes against humanity, a looter and a pathological liar. But we know better, the crimes of the heartless dictator and his TPLF attack dogs are endless.

  5. An eye witness
    | #5

    I would like to say thank you to the master of deception, lies, human cruelty and looting dictator Meles, for arresting one of the well respected professional VOA journalists to be an eyewitness how tyrant Meles and the TPLF mafia group abuse their power. Dictator Meles and his tplf thugs are so blinded by their power, they don’t even realize how one outstanding Journalist can be more powerful than a million army. LOL! How stupid can these idiots be!

  6. Weylekey
    | #6

    አያት ዘር ማንዘሬ ሲታሰሩ ሳይ
    በማያውቁት ወንጀል ሲንገላቱ ባይ
    ከርቸሌ ጸጥታን በሕይወት እንዳላይ
    በአልሰራሁት ስራ ፍዳ እንዳላይ
    አምላኬ ግደለኝ ብዬ ስጸልይ

    እኔ ተማርኩ ብዬ ሸሸሁ ወደ ደጅ
    ያያት ያቤቴን ቤት ሲጎበኝ ፈረንጅ

    እንዲህ ነው አበሻ እሰየው አበሻ
    ጴጥሮስንም አስሮ አስበላው አምባሻ!!!

    እንዲህ ነው አበሻ እሰየው አበሻ
    ጴጥሮስንም አስሮ አስበላው አምባሻ!!!

    ድንበር ዘለል ኢንቨስቴር ብቻ ሳይሆን ድንበር ዘለል እስረኛም አለኮ

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