WikiLeaks named Ethiopian journalist flees

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An Ethiopian journalist identified in a diplomatic cable released last month by WikiLeaks has fled after being questioned by authorities, a media rights watchdog said Thursday. Argaw Ashine was questioned last week by government authorities followed by police interrogation, after he was named in leaked 2009 US diplomatic cables, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said.
It is the “first instance CPJ has confirmed in which a citation in one of the cables has caused direct repercussions for a journalist”, it said in a statement. Ashine was questioned over comments made to US officials concerning reported government plans “to silence the now-defunct Addis Neger, then the country’s leading independent newspaper”, the Washington-based group said. “Ashine fled Ethiopia over the weekend,” it said in a statement, criticising the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks for its mass release of documents without removing sensitive names. “He has requested that his current location not be disclosed for safety reasons.” Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon told AFP that the statement by CPJ “cannot be true”.