Befeqadu HailuBlog: www.befeqe.com
Arrested on 25 Apr 2014
Campaign Site: http://zoneniner.tumblr.com/
Befeqadu is a blogger, activist and writer who likes to describe himself as an Ethiopian Dreamer.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Information Systems from Zega Business College, Adis Ababa.
Befeqadu is a talented writer. His first novella, "Children of Their Parents", received the 2012 Burt Award for African Literature (Ethiopia).
He is also a volunteer editor of the Global Voices in Amharic (am.globalvoicesonline.org).
He is part of the Zone 9 blogging collective. Since 2012, the collective has worked to foster civic engagement and critical commentary about social and political issues in Ethiopia.
On April 25 and 26, 2014 Befeqadu was arrested in Addis Ababa alongside Abel Wabela, Atnaf Berahane, Mahlet Fantahun, Zelalem Kibret, and Natnael Feleke (all members of the Zone 9 blogging collective) and journalists Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, Tesfalem Waldyes and Edom Kassaye.
They have since been held in Maekelawi detention center with no access to legal counsel. They have not been allowed to see their families.
No formal charges have been filed against the bloggers and journalists so far.
On May 3 — World Press Freedom Day — Global Voices issued a statement calling for the release of the nine men and women: "We are outraged by this flagrant violation of our friends’ rights to free expression and deeply concerned for their safety. We cannot remain silent."