Journalists’ leaders from Eastern and Central Regions meeting in Sudanese Capital Khartoum have called for the release of Ethiopian journalists who are currently imprisoned in Ethiopia.

Leaders of journalists in Africa welcomed “the release of six journalists and bloggers by the Ethiopian government ahead of the visit of US President Barack Obama in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 2015”.

But emphasized that “the six released journalists and bloggers, and the other media practitioners who are still detained, have been jailed because of their journalistic work or in the exercise of their right to freedom of expression”.

The summit of journalists in Eastern & Central Africa called on the Ethiopian government to release immediately and unconditionally the remaining journalists who are still unjustly detained in Ethiopia.

The top journalists leaders also noted with “grave concern the raid on 27 May 2015 by the Norwegian authorities against the Norwegian headquarters of a human rights organization working all around the globe, Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD”, and stressed that the actions of the raid against GNRD is unacceptable and represents harassment of civil society organisations.

GNRD is working with journalists’ organisations in Africa by defending press freedom and freedom of journalists, and the journalists in Central and Eastern Africa called upon Norwegian authorities to enlighten their actions against GNRD to the public and provide reassurance for protecting civil society space.

“The raid indisputably created fear for civil society space and freedom for civic groups to operate without intimidations and reprisal to their essential work in Norway” said a statement adopted by the journalists’ summit in Khartoum.