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CPJ urges Ethiopia to release teenage editor

Editor jailed for criticising Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged authorities in Ethiopia's north eastern region of Afar to release Akram Ezedin, a journalist who has been held without charge since 11 September.

The 17-year old Ezedin is understood to be jailed in Asaita, the regional capital of Afar.

His father, Ezedin Mohamed, the editor of Al-Quds, a privately owned Islamic weekly newspaper based in capital city of Addis Ababa, has been serving a one-year prison sentence for his 2008 column criticising statements made by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

Ezedin had been in charge of the paper during the absence of his father .

Local sources indicated that the police released Mohamed from prison and arrested his son for publishing articles that criticised the performance of Afar's local Islamic Council or Mejilis in July.

They also said that he is yet to be charged.

Tom Rhodes, CPJ's East Africa consultant, said "Jailing Akram Ezedin without charge is against the laws of Ethiopia, where the pre-trial detention of journalists is illegal under the Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation."

He added that the authorities in Afar should adhere to national laws and release Ezedin immediately.