Woubshet Taye was arrested in June 2011, before being convicted on terrorism charges in January 2012, when he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. His arrest came soon after he had published a column critically assessing the ruling party's performance in its two decades of rule. Woubshet was the deputy editor of the Awramba Times, but following his arrest, the paper stopped publishing in Ethiopia and the editor fled into exile.
Shortly after his initial imprisonment, Woubshet was moved to a new, more remote facility - Ziway prison, about 83 miles (160 kilometers) from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, making it difficult, if not impossible for his family members to visit him. He has been suffering from kidney infections and has been moved repeatedly between different prisons, most recently back to Kality prison in Addis Ababa. The authorities denied his wife visits (in January 2015) and his health remains poor. Though he applied for a presidential pardon, his application was rejected, and he remains in prison. Woubshet was a recipient of Human Rights Watch's Hellman/Hammett Award.