Reeyot Alemu is a journalist and a teacher in Ethiopia. She was a critical columnist for the no longer operational independent weekly Feteh (closed by government order in 2012). Reeyot has been imprisoned since June 2011, convicted under Ethiopia’s broadly defined anti-terrorism law. Though she was originally sentenced to 14 years, the Supreme Court acquitted her on two counts in August 2012, reducing her sentence to five years. The charge of participation in the promotion or communication of a terrorist act was upheld.
All of the charges against Reeyot are based on activities related to her work. These include email correspondence with pro-opposition groups, and photographs taken for publication on pro-opposition news sites.
As a journalist, Reeyot has covered issues including poverty, democratic opposition and gender equality. In 2012, she received the International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award. While in prison, Reeyot, who was diagnosed with a tumor in her breast, has been denied access to adequate medical care, and threatened with months of solitary confinement as punishment for both alleged misbehavior, (including “stubbornness”) and for threatening to publicize human rights violations by prison guards.
Reeyot Alemu has been RELEASED.