Two translators working for AFP and the Financial Times stand in Tigray

Two translators working for AFP and the Financial Times stand in Tigray

Two people working as translators for foreign media in Ethiopia’s Tigray region – including one hired by the Financial Times – have been arrested, the regional government said.

The arrests came shortly after the federal government allowed foreign journalists to travel to Tigray in northern Ethiopia. The region had been closed to most foreign media since November, when federal forces mounted what they called “a law enforcement operation” against the then government led by the People’s Liberation Front. Tigray.

Federal forces ousted the TPLF, but low-level fighting continued and reports of massacres of civilians spread despite a news Blackout.

Fitsum Berhane, who translated for AFP news the agency for three days, and Alula Akalu Kassa, who worked for the Financial Times, were arrested by men in uniform on Saturday in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray, according to relatives. Fitsum was picked up from his home and Alula several hours later at a restaurant where he had eaten with friends, those relatives said.

A senior official in Tigray’s interim government, who was appointed by Addis Ababa in November, confirmed that the two men working as translators had been arrested. “They are under investigation,” he said, without giving further details on their alleged crimes.

In a statement, the FT said: “We are taking all possible measures to ensure the release of translators Alula Akalu and…

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