VOA journalist freed in Ethiopia – By Ben Brumfield, CNN

May 26th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

(CNN) — A Voice of America reporter detained while trying to cover a protest by Muslims has been freed, an Ethiopian government minister said Saturday. Peter Heinlein is out of prison and does not face charges, Berket Simon, Minister of Government Communications, said. In a phone interview, Heinlein confirmed to CNN that he was no longer being detained.

“I am free from jail,” he said, sounding shaken. “I got out of jail.” Asked about his condition, he said: “The short answer is, yeah, I’m okay.” In an online story, Voice of America quoted witnesses as saying that Heinlein was detained while attempting to interview Muslim protesters after Friday prayers in the East African nation’s capital, Addis Ababa.

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.”

VOA said it had asked the U.S. Department of State for more information and was urging “Ethiopian authorities to allow Mr. Heinlein to carry out his journalistic responsibilities without interference.”

VOA quotes Tom Rhodes, East Africa spokesman for the Committee to Protect Journalists as saying he understood that Heinlein was accused of acting “unprofessionally and illegally.”

Rhodes told VOA a government spokesman had accused Heinlein, who is married to a Danish diplomat, of improperly using a diplomatic vehicle and refusing to show media accreditation.

  1. behig amlak
    | #1

    begna yelemedutn new yaderegut. enezih woyanewoch yemiserutn ayawukum. chersew abdewal how they dare accuse a person of using a diplomatic car? why no he uses a UFO. yenate mekenet aynet tekasha sebeb new. lenegeru ‘yaynachew kelem’astelagn blo maserna megdel yelemede yeduryewoch mengist yihn madregu addis aydelem

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    I’m pleased that he is freed and safe and sound. I hate to see when an innocent person harassed and thrown in jail. I’m sure this journalist was treated way better than how this trained killer tplf dogs treat Ethiopians. At the same time, I’m in a way appreciative that this well accomplished fairly minded journalist was arrested and personally experienced some of the brutality of TPLF lawlessness, savageness and their disrespect of the law and innocent human beings. It is always a bonus to have eyewitness on our side.

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