The IPI global network condemns the arrest and continued detention of French journalist Antoine Galindo over allegations of conspiracy with armed groups for conducting media interviews. We call on Ethiopian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Galindo, and ensure journalists can undertake their work freely and safely. 

Galindo, who works for the online news outlet Africa Intelligence (AI), was arrested on February 22 at the Ethiopia Skylight Hotel. Reports indicate that he was in the country to undertake media coverage of the annual summit of the African Union and other news that he had obtained the requisite visa. Galindo was arrested by plainclothes security officers while interviewing Bate Urgessa, a political officer of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an Oromo nationalist political party.

Galindo is being accused of alleged conspiracy to create chaos in the country with two armed groups and is expected to appear in court on Friday, March 1, 2024. 

‘’Journalists, whether local or foreign journalists, should be allowed to exercise their fundamental right to seek, receive, and impart information”,  IPI Africa Advocacy and Partnership Lead Nompilo Simanje said. “This includes providing coverage of areas in conflict and any other critical aspects. It is absurd and a serious violation of press freedom to equate legitimate journalistic work with acts of ‘conspiracy’. We call on the authorities in Ethiopia to release Antoine Galindo immediately and ensure that he can continue safely undertaking his professional duties.”

Ethiopia has been experiencing conflict in the Tigray and Amhara regions for several years now and several journalists and media workers reporting on the conflict have faced arrest or repression by the authorities. The authorities in Ethiopia have also frequently shut down the internet and restricted communication and access to information in these areas.  

IPI calls on the Ethiopian authorities to cease restrictions on media freedom and access to information and allow independent and critical media coverage of public interest issues, including reporting on the ongoing conflict.