(CP-Africa) – Thirty years old Dawit Kebede, who is currently the Founder and Managing Editor of Awramba Times, was one of the first journalists to be jailed for independent reporting on 2005 election violence in Ethiopia. After his release, Kebede launched the “Awramba Times” in 2008. “Here are three things people should know about me,” he says. “First, it is impossible for me to live without the life I have as a journalist. Second, unless it becomes a question of life and death, I will never be leaving Ethiopia. Third, I am not an opposition. As a journalist, whatsoever would be a governing regime in Ethiopia, I will never hesitate from writing issues criticizing it for the betterment of the nation.”
According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based advocacy group that monitors the well-being of media professionals around the world, Kebede was one of the first journalists to be jailed following Ethiopia’s 2005 disputed national elections, which also resulted in the unfortunate crackdown on press freedom.
“Kebede was among the last to be released under a presidential pardon nearly two years later,” CPJ notes on its web site. “Unlike many of his colleagues who went into exile, Kebede chose to stay in Ethiopia after he walked free from Addis Ababa’s Kality Prison.”
Kebede’s Awramba Timesis is currently the only Amharic-language newspaper that unconventionally question authorities and government leaders in Ethiopia.
During CPJ’s 20th Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, November 23rd in New York City, four journalists, including Dawit Kebede were recipients of the 2010 International Press Freedom Award. Other winners are: Nadira Isayeva of Russia, Laureano Márquez of Venezuela, and Mohammad Davari of Iran.